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Monday, May 27, 2024
<p>The Gators fell in the second game of the weekend series against Mizzou Saturday, falling 5-3.</p>

The Gators fell in the second game of the weekend series against Mizzou Saturday, falling 5-3.

It has been a long time since the Gators have seen .500 in the Southeastern Conference. UF has lacked an even record since a defeat from Georgia on April Fools’ Day saw it fall to a 3-4 conference record. 

After crushing Mizzou 13-1 Friday, the Gators got their opportunity to earn a 13-13 SEC record and the series win the following day in Columbia. 

Instead, Florida put on an underwhelming performance and were handed the 14th conference defeat of the season.

Florida (31-18, 12-14) lost to Missouri (26-21, 8-18) 3-5 Saturday. The Gators led early before running out of gas in the fifth inning. 

UF wasted no time getting on the board, scoring its opening run in the top of the first. Redshirt junior catcher BT Riopelle brought home sophomore outfielder Wyatt Langford on an RBI single.

Riopelle’s production didn’t slow down from there. The Marietta, Georgia, native brought in his second RBI on a double to center field in the top of the second; this gave freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon Neely a 2-0 cushion heading into Mizzou’s second frame. Riopelle finished the afternoon with three RBIs.

Neely worked with what he was given, pitching a shutout including four strikeouts through three innings. Mizzou broke the drought with an RBI double down the line in the bottom of the fourth.

Florida led 3-1 heading into the fifth inning. The Gators tacked on one more run thanks to a Riopelle sac fly before Mizzou took over at the plate. The Tigers quickly put two runners on base to set up left fielder Trevor Austin for a three-RBI home run, giving Mizzou the 4-3 lead. 

Neely was subsequently replaced by freshman RHP Fisher Jameson on the mound.

The orange and blue  stumbled to the finish line from that point. The bullpen allowed five hits in Mizzou’s final three frames, giving up an RBI single to extend the Tigers’ lead to 5-3. Florida’s offense was similarly sluggish, closing the loss on a double play from junior outfielder Jud Fabian. UF left nine runners left on base in the game. 

Tomorrow, the Gators can clinch their final road series of the regular season with a win. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Faurot Field, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. 

Contact Jackson Castellano at Follow him on Twitter @jaxacastellano.

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Jackson Castellano

Jackson Castellano is a third-year sports media journalism student and the Digital Managing Editor at The Alligator for Spring 2024. In the past, he's served as the Sports Editor, Assistant Sports Editor and a Sports Reporter covering Football, Men's basketball and Baseball.

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