College baseball: No. 3 Florida completes sweep of No. 1 Texas A&M
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 3 Florida scored four runs with two out in the seventh to notch a 10-7 victory over No. 1 Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon. The Gators (27-3/7-2 SEC) finished off a sweep of the Aggies (22-6/4-5 SEC), extended their home winning streak to 27 games and picked up their fourth-straight win over a top-8 opponent. The series attendance of 15,360 fans was the second-highest total at McKethan Stadium behind 16,388 for LSU's visit in 2012.
Trailing 7-6, Florida used a two-out rally in the seventh that yielded four runs and a three-run advantage. Junior Ryan Hendrix (0-1) retired the first two batters before issuing a walk to freshman Jonathan India (1-for-2, two RBI), who then stole second base. After a walk to sophomore Dalton Guthrie, India went to third on a wild pitch.
Junior Buddy Reed (3-for-5, two RBI, two runs) tied the game with an infield single and Guthrie advanced to third on the play before sophomore JJ Schwarz (2-for-4, two RBI, two runs) gave the Gators an 8-7 lead with an RBI single into right field. Junior Mark Ecker replaced Hendrix (2.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R) and surrendered an RBI single to junior Peter Alonso (2-for-3, two walks) that brought across Reed and a wild pitch enabled Schwarz to come in for a three-run margin.
Junior Kirby Snead (3-0) worked 1.1 scoreless innings to earn the decision, while junior Shaun Anderson collected his sixth save by putting up zeroes in the eighth and ninth innings. Over the three games, the Gators batted .360 (36-for-100), with 36 hits, 24 runs, 20 doubles, seven walks and two homers. Alonso powered the offense by going 8-for-12 (.667) with five RBI, four runs and two homers, while India was 5-for-9 (.556) and sophomore Jeremy Vasquez was 5-for-11 (.455).
The Gators grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning with four hits off of sophomore Jace Vines. Reed had a one-out single into left field and scored all the way from first on an RBI double into left by Schwarz. After a single by Alonso resulted in runners on the corners, sophomore Mike Rivera (2-for-4, two runs) came through with a two-out hit up the middle to drive in Schwarz. Vasquez was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Vines escaped further trouble with a strikeout of freshman Nelson Maldonado.
Texas A&M seized a 4-2 advantage with four runs on four hits in the third inning against freshman Brady Singer. Junior Austin Homan had a one-out single into right field and stole second before senior J.B. Moss was hit by a pitch. Junior Ryne Birk (2-for-5) tied the game with a two-run double into left field and took third on a throwing error by Guthrie.
Junior Boomer White (3-for-5) gave the visitors the lead with a bloop single into right field. Senior Hunter Melton (3-for-5) followed with a double down the left-field line for two runners in scoring position and junior Nick Banks drove in White with an RBI grounder.
Florida re-gained a 5-4 edge thanks to three runs on three hits and four walks in the fourth. Rivera led off with a walk, Vasquez singled through the right side and Maldonado earned a free pass to load the bases. India narrowed the gap to 4-3 with an RBI single into center field, ending the afternoon for Vines (3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R). Guthrie tied the game against sophomore Brigham Hill with a sacrifice fly into right field to score Vasquez and Reed moved the Orange and Blue in front with a single up the middle that brought in Maldonado.
Birk connected on a two-run homer in the fifth with Moss aboard and senior Michael Barash added an RBI double for a 7-5 count. Freshman Jackson Kowar replaced Singer (3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R) and yielded a leadoff triple to Moss and Birk's third homer of the year moved the Aggies back on top. After White singled into left field, Kowar retired the next two Aggies. Barash boosted the Aggies' lead back to two runs with a double into left field.
The Gators loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the inning and scored once to narrow the deficit to 7-6. Back-to-back singles by Rivera and Vasquez brought Hendrix in for sophomore Brigham Hill (1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R). The righty walked Maldonado to fill the bags and India lofted a sac fly into center to plate Rivera. Although a grounder by Guthrie advanced the runners, Hendrix struck out Reed to complete the frame.
Junior Nick Choruby started the sixth with a bunt single and stole second. Kowar countered with consecutive strikeouts of Homan and Moss and Snead was summoned from the bullpen. The southpaw struck out Birk to keep the Gators down by a run at that point.