Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Florida drops Game 1 of pivotal series against No. 9 Georgia

The Bulldogs jumped on the Gators early and never looked back

Florida baseball head coach Kevin O'Sullivan takes a mound visit during the Gators' win over Columbia University on Saturday, February 24, 2024.
Florida baseball head coach Kevin O'Sullivan takes a mound visit during the Gators' win over Columbia University on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

The Florida Gators baseball team (26-26, 11-17 SEC) dropped a critical game one of its final series of the regular season to the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs (39-12, 17-11 SEC). The Bulldogs put up three runs in the first inning and never trailed. 

Georgia's victory was propelled by a standout performance from sophomore right-handed pitcher Kolten Smith. Smith, in a career-defining display, threw a remarkable 110 pitches in eight innings to strike out 12 Florida batters and concede just two runs on four hits.

On the offensive side of the plate for the Bulldogs, they were led by graduate student left fielder Paul Toetz. Toetz went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

Georgia opened the game up with a three-run fifth inning to extend its lead to 7-2. After trailing 4-0, Florida fought its way back to trail 4-2. From there, it was all Bulldogs.

The Gators sent six different pitchers to the mound, none of who saw three innings of work.

Redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Pierce Coppola started the night on the mound and failed to establish himself. Georgia scored four runs on Coppola, causing him to be replaced in the third inning.

Replacing Coppola was redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Jake Clemente. Clemente came in and looked strong for the better part of his outing, retiring the first six batters he faced.

Freshman designated hitter Tre Phelps sent a double off of the wall that sparked another Bulldogs offensive run, resulting in Clemente being replaced.

All of Florida’s runs in this game came by way of the long ball. The Gators had three home runs on the night. Sophomore catcher Luke Heyman had two home runs for three RBIs, and sophomore designated hitter Brody Donay was responsible for the other home run. 

The Gators went just 6-for-33 from the plate while the Bulldogs doubled the Gators’ hit total with 12.

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the Gators need to win the series to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. After tonight, they find themselves in a position where they have to win the final two games of the series to avoid missing the tournament after going all the way to the College World Series last season.

Georgia is on a nine-game winning streak and is trying to play its way into potentially hosting a super regional in the NCAA Tournament. 

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Game two of this series will be played at 1 p.m. tomorrow from Foley Field in Athens, Georgia.

Contact Chandler Hawkes at chawkes@alligator.org. Follow him on X @HawkesChandler.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.