NCAA Baseball News

Florida baseball opens Mississippi State series with comeback win

USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll Week 4 Gators move up

Florida trailed for most of the night, but the Gators rallied for five runs over the final two frames to take the series opener against Mississippi State Friday night, 7-6.

Cade Kurland delivered the final blow, but the comeback started brewing in the eighth after a long string of zeroes on the scoreboard for Florida. Mississippi State couldn’t find a bullpen arm to close it out and surrendered three runs in the bottom of the ninth to blow it.

Hayden Yost started things off with a single to left, followed by an Armando Albert walk. Michael Robertson and Colby Shelton struck out swinging on both sides of a pitching change, but Nolan Stevens wouldn’t get another out.

Ty Evans singled to left, bringing Florida within one run of Mississippi State, Jac Caglianone put so much spin on a groundball that he wound up safe at first and Tyler Shelnut worked a walk on a 3-2 count to tie it up.

Kurland started his at-bat down a strike because of a time violation, but the sophomore second baseman didn’t blink down 0-2 in the count. A line drive right by the pitcher’s glove sealed the victory for Florida and the party in Gainesville began.

Welcome back to the starting rotation, Neely

Brandon Neely’s first start of the season was a mixed bag. He allowed just one run through the first three innings. A walk and steal set up an RBI single in the third, but it was the fourth that brought real trouble.

Neely hit the No. 6 hitter, Aaron Downs, with one out and gave up back-to-back singles before loading the bases with a walk. Another hit batter scored a run. Leadoff man Amani Larry checked his swing and just barely managed to keep from going around.

That brought Kevin O’Sullivan out and Cade Fisher replaced Neely on the mound. Fisher looks like he’ll revert to the top spot in the bullpen now that he’s out of the Friday night slot. Neely’s start didn’t go the way he wanted, but Sully is going to give him time to figure things out.

Fisher gave up two more runs — one on a sacrifice fly and the other on a bases-loaded walk, but both were charged to Neely’s line.

Gators chip away

Neither team scored during the fifth and sixth innings. Fisher settled in and looked far more comfortable than he’s been all season, but Mississippi State starter Khal Stephen was in the middle of a career night. He held the Gators to just two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Florida couldn’t figure out Stephen for most of the night. Ty Evans and…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Baseball | Gators Wire…