Florida’s 2021 season got here to an finish on Saturday after simply two video games because the host on the Gainesville Regional. After a disappointing 5-3 misplaced towards four-seeded South Florida on Friday, the Gators collapsed fully in an elimination recreation towards South Alabama.
UF allowed 21 hits in a 19-1 loss that ties a 20-2 loss to Mississippi State in 2000 for the second-worst in program historical past. The 0-2 exit in a regional is simply the fourth of coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure with the Gators and the primary since 2014. That yr was the one different time O’Sullivan’s squad didn’t advance previous a regional it hosted.
Issues began out wanting good for Florida. It threatened within the first inning as Jacob Younger led off with a single and stole second. After a sacrifice from Nate Hickey, he was a 3rd with one out. Jud Fabian tried to hit a deep fly ball to hit Younger house, nevertheless it stayed too shallow. The third-base coach despatched Younger anyway, and he was simply thrown out at house for an inning-ending double play.
Hunter Barco acquired the beginning with the season on the road, and his begin to the sport was about as disastrous because it might be. He led off with a stroll after which hit a batter with a pitch to place two on with one out. A single from Hunter Stokes introduced a run house, and Kaleb DeLaTorre hit a single into proper area. A runner got here house, however the throw initially seemed to be on time and he was dominated out at house. However upon assessment, he was dominated protected, and the Jaguars took a 2-0 lead.
After DeLaTorre superior to second on a wild pitch, O’Sullivan pulled the plug on Barco’s outing after simply 18 pitches. Jack Leftwich, who started the yr as a weekend starter however transitioned to a better function halfway by means of the season, entered the sport.
Leftwich managed to get out of the inning after a strikeout on a fly ball. South Alabama’s Miles Smith didn’t enable them to realize any floor within the second as he retired the Gators’ aspect so as, hanging out two. The Jaguars practically added onto the lead within the backside of the second regardless of two of the primary three batters hanging out. Leftwich gave up a stroll, and with two outs, a double put runners at second and third. A shallow pop-up allowed Leftwich to flee the hazard.
UF managed to make a dent within the South Alabama lead within the prime of the third, as Josh Rivera and Colby Halter every singled to begin. With runners on the corners, a sacrifice fly from Mac Guscette introduced Rivera throughout to make it a 2-1 recreation. However a fielder’s selection from Younger and strikeout from Hickey stored Florida from tying it.
The Jaguars had their very own menace on the backside of the third with runners on the corners in a single out, however an unbelievable throw to second on a squeeze try bunt from Guscette saved a run from scoring, and a flyout ended the menace.
However UF couldn’t capitalize, as Smith put its lineup away with a 1-2-3 prime of the fourth. Within the backside of the inning, O’Sullivan continued to gamble along with his staff going through elimination. He changed Leftwich with Franco Alemán, who was anticipated to begin tomorrow’s recreation if UF received. Alemán had a pleasant begin, posting a 1-2-3 inning of his personal.
The Gators couldn’t get something out of a single from Rivera on the prime of the fifth, and South Alabama continued to threaten within the backside of that inning. The leadoff hitter reached on a throwing error from Hickey, and although Alemán struck the following batter out, the runner stole second. After a stroll, runners stood on first and second. Alemán struck out Andrew Bates to place two away, however a double from Cameron Tissue introduced two extra runs throughout, and UF entered the sixth inning down 4-1.
It acquired a two-out single from Hickey, however once more, the run assist failed to come back. Issues went from dangerous to worse within the backside of the inning, as a timeout name in the midst of Alemán’s supply erased a groundout and the batter was finally walked. Later within the body, the Jaguars had runners on the corners with two outs, and back-to-back singles added two extra runs.
O’Sullivan was furious in regards to the timeout name initially of the inning, and he acquired right into a verbal altercation with the umpire to no avail. After one other single, a seventh South Alabama run got here throughout. Alemán continued to collapse, permitting a fourth-consecutive RBI single, and this one introduced two extra runs throughout to provide the Jags a 9-1 lead. RBI single No. 5 put them at double digits.
Brandon Sproat changed Alemán, however the avalanche had already begun. Sproat allowed a double to begin after which three straight RBI singles of his personal. Within the seventh inning, he gave up back-to-back homers as South Alabama reached 16 runs scored. That wasn’t sufficient for the Jaguars, who scored three extra on a shot off Ryan Cabarcas, who unsuccessfully tried to get out of the inning with out permitting any extra harm.
An hour and 50-minute climate delay extended the inevitable, however when play resumed, David Luethje took over and managed to mercifully finish one other inning.
However there weren’t many highlights after that, apart from a pinch-hitting alternative for little-used senior Brock Edge with two outs within the backside of the ninth. Sadly for UF, as an alternative of catalyzing an 18-run comeback, Edge feebly grounded out to second base, placing the ultimate nail within the coffin of a season that may’t be characterised as something aside from disappointing.
The Gators opened the season because the No. 1 staff within the nation, however by June, it was barely a nationwide seed (and have become the primary to be eradicated from the event). Florida loses loads of expertise this offseason, a listing that can possible embrace underclassmen like ace pitcher Tommy Mace and Fabian.
With unfounded rumors circulating about LSU‘s curiosity in hiring O’Sullivan to interchange the retiring Paul Maneiri, UF will first have to make sure it retains its winningest coach in class historical past earlier than it could purpose to handle the elements that led to an embarrassing early exit from the NCAA Match.