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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Caglianone continues unbelievable tear in victory against Stetson

The Gators hit seven home runs in a 13-3 win, Tuesday

Florida baseball first baseman Jac Caglianone celebrates a home run in the team's loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday, April 12, 2024.
Florida baseball first baseman Jac Caglianone celebrates a home run in the team's loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday, April 12, 2024.

There aren’t many words that fairly describe the exceptional ability of Gators two-way player Jac Caglianone. His success over the last month has been nearly indescribable.

“I think he’s having fun playing baseball, honestly,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said April 16. “When you have really good players… that care about the success of the team, rather than themselves, then this is what you see.”

The Gators junior two-way player has been unbelievable in his last 14 games. Caglianone has 13 home runs and is hitting .460 with 22 RBI since March 31. 

During Florida’s (21-19) 13-3, run-rule victory against the Stetson Hatters (26-15) Tuesday at Condron Family Ballpark, Caglianone hit two home runs to further extend his unbelievable stretch at the plate.

“Very rarely do you have players like this, when they come to the plate, the whole ballpark stops to watch like something great might happen,” O’Sullivan said. “And he’s got that about him.”

There was a short list of former Florida players O’Sullivan could compare him to.

“I think Wyatt Langford was like that, Mike Zunino was like that, Preston Tucker was like that,” he said. “But they’re hard to come by.”

But despite all Calgianone has done, the Gators have had a disappointing 2024 season. The junior has been one of the few positives. 

On Friday, Caglianone tied the NCAA record with a home run in nine straight games. He broke the Statcast era record with a 516-foot home run April 16 against Jacksonville during the stretch.

Caglianone’s streak ended Saturday, but he picked it right back up with a multi-homer performance Tuesday. The junior hit a solo home run in the second inning and another in the fourth inning.

Caglianone’s spectacular night at the plate wasn’t the only positive in Florida’s win Tuesday. Five different Gators had home runs. 

UF sophomore outfielder Michael Robertson hit his first home run of the season and second of his career in the fourth inning. 

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“It’s fun,” Robertson said. “It’s not really a part of my game, so when it happens, it’s kind of an accident. But, it’s always fun.”

Gators catcher Luke Heyman hit a two-run shot in the second, Florida right fielder Ty Evans hit one in the same inning, and second baseman Cade Kurland and designated hitter Brody Donay both hit home runs in the seventh inning.

“Every game we’ve got to do everything right,” Heyman said. “We can obviously do a lot of damage at the plate, but not all the time that’s going to happen… Just trying to do smaller things and get runs across and get a lead early, I think that was important.” 

It’s easy to just focus on the seven home runs in Florida’s win. However, O’Sullivan was pleased mostly with the little things that his team executed. 

“I think [Robertson’s] single up the middle when we moved them up with Brody’s bunt was a big part of the game,” he said. 

In the first inning, Donay flawlessly executed a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position. Robertson responded with a two-RBI single up the middle.

“[We’re] doing what we can to move runners around and just win games in more ways in the long run,” Robertson said.

Caglianone hit a run-rule, walk-off RBI single in the seventh inning to win the midweek contest.

After losing the weekend series against then-No. 13 Vanderbilt over the weekend, Florida’s sense of urgency and win-now mindset is at its highest. 

The Gators will face their biggest test of the season and face the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks at 8 p.m. Friday at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. 

Contact Luke Adragna at ladragna@alligator.org. Follow him on X @lukeadrag.

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a third-year journalism student and the Florida Gators football reporter at The Alligator. He is a cat ethusiast and completes the NYT Daily Mini in less than a minute each day.


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