Before Tuesday, JJ Schwarz hadn’t been himself.
The sophomore collected just one hit over UF’s first three games this weekend, but he broke out against Eastern Michigan.
Schwarz launched his first home run of the season in the fourth inning against EMU Tuesday night, a two-run blast.
Schwarz and the No. 1 Gators then went on to defeat the Eagles 12-4 at McKethan Stadium, as UF improved to 4-0 on the season.
"I knew it was gonna come, but I'm glad I got it out now," Schwarz said of his home run. "After the first one, hopefully there's more to come."
But Schwarz wasn’t the only UF player who had a successful hitting night. Junior Peter Alonso led UF with four RBIs, including two doubles, while sophomore Dalton Guthrie, junior Buddy Reed and freshman Deacon Liput each went 2-for-3.
To start the scoring, Eastern Michigan wasted no time in the first inning.
On Dane Dunning’s second pitch of the night, EMU’s Marquise Gill ripped a double down the left-field line. Soon after, Gill scored on a grounder to second.
But the Gators retaliated in the bottom half.
After loading the bases, Florida tied the game up 1-1 when Reed scored on a wild pitch.
After Jeremy Vasquez was hit by a pitch, Alonso drove in two with a double in the right-center gap.
Liput followed with a double to plate Alonso and gave UF a 4-1 lead.
Alonso and the Gators were back at it again in the third inning, scoring five runs.
Alonso smoked another two-run double, this time by the third baseman, to take a 6-1 lead. The Tampa native finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
"It's a good night," Alonso said. "I'll take it."
Freshman Danny Reyes plated UF’s seventh run on a fielder’s choice ground ball to first.
Florida tacked on two more after Guthrie poked a single to right field.
The Eagles scored again in the fourth when Dunning walked in a run.
But Dunning followed that with a strikeout and Brady Singer, who replaced Dunning, struck out the next batter to end the threat.
Dunning was pulled after 3.2 innings.
The junior allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four in his first start of the season.
UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said despite the bases-loaded walk, he was pleased with Dunning's performance.
"He's been throwing the ball really good for us," he said. "I would anticipate this being his first start (and) that he'll be better the next time out."
In the bottom half of the fourth, Florida answered back.
Schwarz cranked his first homer of the season to left field — a two-run shot to put the Gators ahead 11-2. The Palm Beach Gardens native finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
In the sixth, UF tacked on another run.
Reed slapped a triple off the wall to lead off the inning and soon after scored on Mark Kolozsvary’s groundout to the shortstop.
Eastern Michigan added runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Next, Florida will face with Eastern Michigan again tonight in Lakeland at 7 p.m.
After dealing with arm injuries over the past two years, sophomore Scott Moss will take the mound for the Gators.