The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

No. 1 Florida falls to UCF

199 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

WHAT HAPPENED: Florida's five-game win streak came to an end on Tuesday night, falling 9-7 at UCF in Orlando.

UCF took advantage of an uncharacteristic night on the mound from the Gators' pitching staff. UF gave up 10 walks - five of which scored - and 15 hits, both season highs.

Wil Dalton took the first pitch of the game and sent if over the left field wall for an early 1-0 lead.

Florida added to the lead in the third. Nick Horvath started a rally with a single up the middle and took third on a successful hit-and-run with Nelson Maldonado. The left fielder bobbled the ball on Maldonado's single, allowing Horvath to score on the play.

JJ Schwarz hit a two-out, RBI single to make it 3-0 before UCF stormed back in the bottom of the inning.

The Knights scored six runs on five hits in the third. Seven straight batters reached base with two outs as UCF knocked starter Jack Leftwich from the game.

In the fourth, a pair of walks by reliever Andrew Baker came back to bite him as a two-out single from Ryan Osik added two more runs to the Knights' lead.

Florida battled back with three runs in the sixth. Schwarz led off with a double to left center and Jonathan India followed with a walk.

Keenan Bell stepped in and sent the first pitch he saw over the wall in right field for his third home run of the season to cut the deficit to two.

UCF picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with yet another two-out RBI single. All nine of the Knights' runs in the game came with two outs.

Nelson Maldonado hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning.

FROM THE COACH: Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan on tonight's game - "It was very uncharacteristic with how we've been pitching the whole year obviously, we'd been averaging two runs [allowed] per game. For whatever reason we just weren't able to finish innings. I believe all nine runs came with two outs. With that many walks, obviously we're not going to be successful.

"The positive is we fought offensively the entire night and we had a chance to get one more batter to the plate and have the tying run [at the plate]. And I thought Kirby came in at the end at the end there and did a really nice job."