Gators fall to Charleston Southern in NCAA baseball regional
BY ANTONYA ENGLISH
Times Staff Writer
GAINESVILLE – A 3:15 rain and lighting delay and a three-run first inning proved to be too much for Florida to overcome Friday night.
College of Charleston had seven hits and scored three runs in the first inning, then the Cougars held on for a 3-2 victory in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium.
The game’s first pitch didn’t come until 10:15 p.m.
Florida (40-22) will play North Carolina (34-26) Saturday at 1 p.m. in an elimination game. Long Beach State defeated the Tar Heels 6-1 in Friday’s first game of the regional. Long Beach State will play College of Charleston at 7 p.m.
Whether the weather delay affected Gators starting ace Logan Shore is up for debate. Shore struggled through the first inning, giving up seven hits (five singles and two doubles) and three runs. He needed 33 pitches to get out of the inning.
However, he eventually settled in and retired seven of nine batters at one point. Shore, went five innings, giving up 10 hits, three runs, two walks and six strikeouts on 95 pitches.
After falling behind early, the Gators squandered multiple opportunities in their comeback efforts.
Florida had the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings, but left three on base in each. The Gators had 15 base runners through seven innings, but only two runs.
College of Charleston pitcher Taylor Clarke gave up four hits in the first three innings, and he and Shore combined 156 pitches through the first four innings.
The Gators retired the final 13 Cougar’s batters, but the Cougars retired the final three Gators batters in the ninth, including two strikeouts, to earn the win.
Antonya English can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.