Columbia, MO - A fielder’s choice by sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) brought home freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) with the eventual decisive run in the 15th inning as Florida (22-18/10-7 SEC) extended its winning streak to eight games and clinched its weekend series over Missouri (12-22/4-13 SEC) with a 4-3 triumph on Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
UF’s bullpen tossed 12.2 scoreless innings, with sophomore Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (2-0) earning the decision. Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) induced a game-ending groundout with Tiger runners on second and third base to end the game and nail down his 11th save, two shy of the school’s single-season mark shared by Danny Wheeler (1994) and Josh Fogg (1998).
With the game deadlocked at 3-3 in the 15th, Bader reached on a one-out fielding error by Missouri junior third baseman Shane Segovia. Senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) followed with a base-hit into center field and freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) drew a walk to load the bases with one down. Turgeon’s grounder to second base drove in Bader with the go-ahead run, completing a comeback from a 3-0 deficit for the Gators.
Magliozzi replaced Poyner (0.1 IP) to begin the bottom of the stanza and issued a one-out walk to junior Dylan Kelly, who was replaced by sophomore pinch runner Nick Moore. After junior Kendall Keeton flew out to center field for the second out, senior Scott Sommerfeld ripped a pinch-hit single into center field to keep the Tigers alive. Although a wild pitch by Magliozzi pushed Moore and Sommerfeld over, the righty had Segovia ground out to secure the club’s sixth-straight league win.
Junior Keaton Steele (2-for-6) had provided the Tigers with a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run homer to left field off of freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.). Young had retired the first two batters before yielding a bloop single into center field by senior Dane Opel (2-for-7). Steele then opened the scoring with his second round-tripper of the campaign.
Florida threatened against sophomore Brett Graves in the second inning, putting two runners aboard with one down, as redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) reached on a fielding error and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-7) singled through the left side of the infield. However, Graves induced an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play from sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.).
Missouri used three-straight two-out singles to build a 3-0 advantage in the home part of the stanza. Young recorded the first two outs before Segovia extended the inning with a single through the right side. Junior Dillon Everett (2-for-6) advanced his teammate to third base with a base-hit into right center and sophomore Logan Pearson punched an RBI single into right field to score Segovia. An intentional walk to sophomore Case Munson loaded the bags and the move paid off when Young had Opel ground out to strand the trio of runners.
The Gators got on the board in the third on a two-out RBI single by Turgeon (3-for-8, 3 RBI) for a 3-1 deficit. Martin had his third double of the season into the left-field corner with two down and Turgeon drove him in with a single into right field and went to second on the relay throw to the plate. After a walk to sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.), sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-6) popped out in foul territory to end the frame.
A one-out double by Kelly in the bottom of the inning ended the afternoon for Young (2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R). A wild pitch by redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) moved Kelly to third base but the right-hander struck out junior Kendall Keeton and had sophomore Jake Ivory ground out to keep the Gators down by two runs.
Bader raised his hitting streak to eight games, matching his career high, to open the fifth. Graves had Dent fly out to center field and struck out Martin before Bader swiped second base for his team-leading ninth theft. Graves jammed Turgeon on an infield fly to complete the inning.
A leadoff walk to Munson brought freshman Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) in for Rhodes (1.2 IP). Danciu had Opel fly out to left field and then plunked Steele. A grounder by Kelly advanced the runners into scoring position with two down and freshman Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen for Danciu (0.2 IP). The righty had Keeton ground out to Dent to hold the count at 3-1.
Gushue began the sixth with a single into right field and Graves (5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R) retired Shafer on a foul pop-up before being replaced by redshirt junior Jake Walsh. The southpaw had Powers and Ramjit each ground out to retire the side.
After Hanhold pitched a clean sixth, Tobias drew a leadoff walk in the seventh from Steele, who had replaced Walsh (0.2 IP). Bader followed with a single into right field and Dent laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both of his teammates into scoring position. Martin brought the Gators within 3-2 with an RBI grounder and Turgeon tied the game with a two-out single up the middle that plated Bader.
Shafer and Powers drew back-to-back walks to start the eighth for Florida and Ramjit’s sacrifice attempt forced Shafer at third base. A fielder’s choice by Tobias erased Ramjit at second base and Powers was gunned down at the plate on a relay from freshman first baseman Josh Lester to Kelly to preserve the stalemate.
After Hanhold retired all 10 Tiger hitters he faced over 3.1 innings, junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) took the mound for the Gators. The lefty registered the first two outs of the ninth before yielding a single into right field by Everett. Following a walk to Pearson, Gibson had Munson fly out to left field to provide the fans with free baseball.
Gibson notched the first two outs of the 11th before Everett reached on a fielding error by Turgeon. Martin made a nice running grab at the center-field wall on a ball hit by Pearson to send the contest into the 12th inning.
Powers began the 13th with a base-hit through the right side of the infield and was replaced by redshirt freshman pinch runner Cory Reid (Port St. Lucie, Fla.). After a single by Ramjit gave the Gators two runners aboard, Tobias laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Steele fanned Bader for the second out and then issued a walk to Dent that loaded the bases. The reliever rebounded with a strikeout of Martin to end the inning.
Gibson collected the first two outs of Missouri’s 13th and Lester legged out an infield single to extend the frame. Senior Brannon Champagne was inserted as a pinch runner and stole second base before sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) replaced Gibson (career-high 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 K). The righty caught Segovia looking on strikes to complete the inning.
Harris set down the first two batters of the 14th and Munson singled into left field to bring Poyner into the contest. The lefty had Opel pop up to Dent.
The Gators and Tigers will complete the weekend series tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET and the contest can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Freshman right-hander Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (1-1, 5.06) will oppose Missouri freshman righty Alec Rash (2-1, 4.57). Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.