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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gators set for midweek rematch with the Hatters

Florida will play Stetson Tuesday after a 10-7 victory March 10

<p>Outfielder Sterlin Thompson rounds the base path against Jacksonville March 14</p>

Outfielder Sterlin Thompson rounds the base path against Jacksonville March 14

Nathan Hickey drove the ball into left field, and Jacob Young and Colby Halter both rounded third base and crossed home as the Gator dugout hollered.

After Stetson led 5-0 after the second inning, Florida enjoyed a 7-5 advantage in the fifth inning.

The Gators held on for a 10-7 victory March 10 over the Hatters, who now head back to Florida Ballpark again for their second matchup Tuesday. 

The Gators now sit at 18-9 and ride in with momentum after they defeated Ole Miss in a three-game series this past weekend. 

Hickey and Young excelled the last time Stetson came to town. The duo combined for seven of Florida’s 14 hits and six RBIs. 

Young homered in the fourth inning, his only deep shot of the year to date, and brought home a run in each of the next two innings with a double and a sacrifice fly. Hickey plated the go-ahead runs and reeled off another single in the sixth inning to drive in the last of Florida’s 10 scores.

The bullpen, which struggled this year, offered one of its more impressive performances against the Hatters. After Timmy Manning’s first start ended prematurely with five earned runs in just 1.2 innings, five Florida relievers allowed just two runs across the final 22 outs.

Freshman Chase Centala threw a pair of hitless innings after he took the mound from Manning, and Brandon Sproat earned his first win of the year with 1.2 innings and two singles.

Young and Stetson graduate student Hernan Sardinas each knocked 11 doubles this season, tied for third in the country. Sardinas leads the Hatters with 34 hits and a .535 slugging percentage, and he batted .343 with 25 RBIs so far. 

Redshirt junior Eric Foggo led Stetson with five home runs, including four in the last 12 games, and a team-high 27 RBIs. The two sluggers combined for one hit in six at-bats and drew a walk each against Florida in March.

Stetson amassed 52 doubles and earned 127 walks through 28 games, good enough for 30th and 32nd in the country.

Stetson hasn’t revealed its Tuesday starter yet, but only six Hatters threw a first pitch this season. After five of them threw this weekend, Anthony DeFabbia seems like the presumptive starter. He hasn’t opened a game since March 23 against FIU.

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DeFabbia started against Florida and held his own to open the game, as Florida only connected for one hit and two walks the first two innings.  DeFabbia loosened with a two-run third inning before Young’s home run chased from the mound in the fourth. In 3.1 innings, DeFabbia collected four hits, five walks and just a single earned run.

Florida seeks its third victory in four games Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. 

Contact Ryan Haley at rhaley@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @ryan_dhaley

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Ryan Haley

Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.


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