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

Waldrep deals, Caglianone's bombs power UF past UConn

116 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

WHAT HAPPENED: The No. 1-seed Gators kept their season alive with a 8-2 win over No. 2-seed Connecticut in an elimination game Sunday afternoon in the Gainesville Regional. UF starter Hurston Waldrep struck out 12 Huskies over seven innings, and first baseman Jac Caglianone delivered at the plate with a three-run homer in the fourth inning and a two-run blast in the eighth.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Florida led 2-1 in the fourth after Wyatt Langford's bases-loaded sacrifice fly scored Tyler Shelnut, who had walked to lead off the inning. Up stepped Caglianone against UConn lefty reliever Zach Fogell, who had just entered the game. Caglianone slammed Fogell's first pitch for a 446-foot three-run homer to give the Gators some breathing room. Caglianone's blast to right-center was his 30th homer of the season. Caglianone, Jac (2023 NCAA Tournament vs. UConn) Jac Caglianone rounds third and heads home after his 30th home run of the season in Sunday's victory over UConn at Condron Ballpark. (Photo: UAA Communications)

STAGGERING STAT: Caglianone became the first Southeastern Conference player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season since LSU's Brad Cresse hit 30 in 2000. Caglianone joins Cresse and SEC single-season record-holder Brandon Larson (40 in 1997) as the only players in conference history to hit 30 home runs in a season.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Waldrep was excellent in his first NCAA Tournament start for the Gators. The fourth-year junior surrendered just five hits and one run over seven innings. Waldrep struck out 12 and walked two in his 101-pitch outing. With two more potential games in the regional, the Gators needed Waldrep to eat innings Sunday. He did that and more, turning in his best performance since a dominant outing against Georgia on April 15.

KEY MOMENT: UConn starter Garrett Coe escaped jam after jam early in the game. However, he could not get out of the way of a Cade Kurland line drive in the fourth inning. Kurland's shot nailed Coe on his upper left leg. Coe fell to the ground and was obviously in severe pain following his final pitch. He exited the game after lasting 3 1/3 innings. Langford hit reliever Will Nowak's first pitch for an RBI sac fly, and then Caglianone hit Fogell's first pitch for a three-run homer. In the end, three costly pitches for the Huskies.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 - Games in which Waldrep has struck out 10 or more batters in his 16 starts; 123 - Home runs hit by the Gators this season, second-most in school history behind the 132 home runs clubbed by the 1998 team; 82 - RBI this season for Caglianone, passing Ryan Shealy (80 in 2002) for second in the program's single-season record book.

PLAYER QUOTE: "Hurston really stepped up. We needed a big outing out of him and he rose to the challenge." - Caglianone on Waldrep's outing


  • The Gators advance to their second-straight NCAA Regional final against a Big-12 opponent.
  • Florida is now 121-83 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are 84-51 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.
  • Waldrep struck out 12 batters across seven innings, moving his season strikeout total to 129. Waldrep's 129 strikeouts now rank T-sixth in a single season at Florida, joining Brady Singer (2017) and Marc Valdes (1992) on the all-time list. Waldrep struck out double-digit batters for the fifth time this season. He notched his team-high seventh quality start of the season.
  • Caglianone hit his 30th home run of the season - a three-run shot in the fourth inning. Caglianone is the third SEC player to hit 30 home runs in a season and the first since LSU's Brad Cresse accomplished the feat in 2000 (69 games). LSU's Brandon Larson holds the SEC single-season record with 40 home runs in 1997 (69 games)
  • Caglianone hit his 31st home run in the eighth, marking his sixth multi-homer game of the season and his first since April 16 vs. Georgia. Caglianone now leads the nation in home runs. Caglianone drove in five runs and now has 83 RBI on the season, moving into second in a single season at UF behind Preston Tucker (85 - 2009).
  • Florida has struck out 630 batters in 523 innings - translating to 10.8 per nine innings, which would mark a new program record.
  • The Gators have 593 hits through 61 games (9.7 hits/game).
  • The Gators have scored in 44.6% of batted innings (221 of 496).
  • Florida is now 7-0 all-time vs. UConn.

UP NEXT: Florida advances to face Texas Tech on Sunday night at 6 p.m. with a chance to force a winner-take-all game for the regional championship on Monday. Florida left-hander Cade Fisher (5-0, 3.58 ERA, 20 appearances, one start) and Texas Tech right-hander Zane Petty (3-1, 6.27, 13 appearances, 10 starts) are slated to start.