GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Aaron Rhodes (5-2) threw a one-hit shutout as No. 14 Florida (29-15/14-6 SEC) clinched its weekend series by blanking Missouri (19-23/6-14 SEC), 5-0, on Saturday afternoon. With the triumph, the Gators have captured their last seven SEC contests and secured their third series win in a row. Rhodes surrendered only a second-inning double to Dillon Everett and retired the final 18 Tigers hitters in going the distance for UF’s first complete game of the season.
“It’s tough enough when we’ve been so strict on pitch counts to throw a complete game, but to throw a one-hit, nine-inning shutout is really hard to do,” said head coach Kevin O’Sullivan. “I thought he got better as the game went on. I thought the ninth inning was as good of an inning as he threw all day. I’m really proud of the way he threw the ball today.”
The Gators broke the ice in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Taylor Gushue started the frame with a single up the middle, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Eric Anderson (2-3) and advanced to third on a grounder by Braden Mattson that was misplayed by second baseman Shane Segovia. Although Anderson had Zack Powers hit into a double play, Gushue scored.
Helped by a pair of errors, Florida increased its lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Peter Alonso drew a one-out walk from reliever Keaton Steele and freshman Buddy Reed (2-for-3, two runs) followed with a base hit into right field. A fielder’s choice by John Sternagel (Rockledge, Fla.) forced Alonso at third base, but an errant throw by Ryan Howard enabled Reed to score. Another error by right fielder Logan Pearson on a relay throw to the plate allowed Sternagel to reach third base. Casey Turgeon (2-for-4, two RBI) then delivered an RBI single through the right side of the infield to bring across Sternagel.
Powers greeted Austin Tribby with a leadoff homer in the seventh to expand the margin to 4-0. Powers raised his hitting streak to eight games with his third homer of the campaign that cleared the right-field fence. Reed legged out a bunt single and moved to third on a pinch-hit single up the middle by Josh Tobias. A bunt single from Turgeon plated Reed with Florida’s fifth run.