The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA Baseball Championship - Gainesville Regional - Gainesville, Florida

Gators' Rivera, Caglianone rattle FAMU in NCAAs opener

118 days ago
Florida Athletics

WHAT HAPPENED: Gators shortstop Josh Rivera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and starter Jac Caglianone tossed six shutout innings to lead the Gators to a 3-0 victory over Florida A&M in their NCAA Tournament opener on Friday night.

PLAY OF THE GAME: In a pitching duel between Caglianone and Rattlers right-hander Caleb Granger, Rivera delivered the game's biggest hit when he drilled Granger's 2-0 pitcher well over the left-field wall to give the home crowd something to cheer about early. Rivera's two-out homer was his 16th of the season, establishing a program record for a shortstop. Rivera shared the record with Brady McConnell. during the Gators' game against the Florida A&M on Friday, June 2, 2023 at Florida Ballpark in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Mallory Peak Josh Rivera is greeted at home by Cade Kurland after his two-run homer in the first inning Friday night in the Gainesville Regional. (Photo: Mallory Peak/UAA Communications)

STRANGE STAT: The loss marked the fifth time this season FAMU has been shut out. What makes that strange? The Rattlers established several school records offensively in 2023, including most runs, home runs, doubles and RBI.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: UF sophomore left-hander Caglianone followed his shaky outing in the SEC Tournament semifinals to Vanderbilt with a strong performance. Caglianone pitched six shutout innings, allowing only four hits. He walked three and struck out seven in his 95-pitch outing.

KEY MOMENT: With the Rattlers threatening in the top of the ninth, UF defensive replacement Richie Schiekofer delivered a strike to the plate to cut down Joseph Pierini for the second out of the inning. Schiekofer replaced right fielder Tyler Shelnut in the top of the ninth and made his throw home when FAMU's Will Brown doubled to right with one out and FAMU down 3-0.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7,367 - Announced attendance at Condron Ballpark on Friday night, a program record for a postseason home game; 64 - Strikes thrown by Caglianone. That is five more total pitches than he threw in 1 2/3 innings in his start at the SEC Tournament.

FROM THE COACH: "Jac was outstanding. He kept his pitch count down for the most part and got us through six. He made some pitches there in the middle part. The pitching just overall was outstanding tonight. The bottom line is we're going to have to generate offense in a different way than we may have the entire year, be a little bit more aggressive maybe in some other areas. Just compliment FAMU. They did a good job. A win is a win this time of year. It's not anything to get upset about." - Gators head coach Kevin O'Sullivan on the win


  • Florida is now 120-82 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are 83-50 in NCAA Regional play. UF is hosting its 19th NCAA Regional while making the 38th Regional appearance in program history. Florida has hosted 12 out of a possible 15 Regionals in the Kevin O'Sullivan era.
  • Rivera blasted his 16th home run to give UF a 2-0 lead in the first, passing Brady McConnell (15 - 2018) for the most homers in a single season by a Gators shortstop.
  • Caglianone turned in one of his best starts of the season, firing six shutout innings on four hits and three walks while striking out seven. Caglianone has allowed five earned runs across his last six starts spanning 28 innings for a 1.61 ERA.
  • Neely remained perfect in save opportunities, recording his SEC-leading 11th of the season.
  • Florida has struck out 602 batters in 506 innings - translating to 10.7 per nine innings, which would mark a new program record.
  • The Gators have 584 hits through 59 games (9.9 hits/game).
  • The Gators have scored in 44.9% of batted innings (215 of 479).
  • Florida is now 30-1 all-time vs. Florida A&M including 2-0 in Regionals. The Gators are 14-1 in the series under O'Sullivan.

UP NEXT: The Gators face Texas Tech in the winners' bracket on Saturday night. Texas Tech defeated Connecticut 3-2 in the first game of the Gainesville Regional on Friday afternoon.