The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M falls to No. 2 Florida 7-4 in first game of series

Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

Freshman pitcher Tyler Ivey lasted only 1.2 innings against Florida on Friday, by far the shortest start of his young career.

The No. 1 Texas A&M baseball team grabbed the top spot in the national rankings this week after taking two-of-three from LSU on Easter Weekend.
Unfortunately for the Aggies (22-4, 4-3), the team they passed up didn’t take too kindly to the change. No. 2 Florida exacted its revenge Friday night, defeating A&M 7-4 on a sticky night at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium in Gainesville to extend its home winning streak to 25 games.
Four different players had multi-hit games – including freshman Jonathan India’s perfect 4-for-4 night – as the Gators (25-3, 5-2) wore out A&M pitchers all game long with 12 hits.
“We have to play better,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said after the game. “We don’t have to play perfect baseball, we just have to play better. We didn’t play very good tonight. Give Florida all of the credit. We have to go to the bullpen in the second inning, chasing runs. You do that against teams like Florida and it’s an uphill climb.”
Freshman Tyler Ivey escaped minor trouble in the first inning, but after that the Gators’ offense could not be stopped. Florida, the consensus preseason top team in the country, knocked Ivey out of the game in the second inning after he struggled with his command and allowed two RBI doubles.
Reliever Brigham Hill worked out of the jam that Ivey left him in the second, but then surrendered a monster home run to Gator first baseman Peter Alonso in the third.
The Florida offense did damage from top-to-bottom. All-American outfielder Buddy Reed went 2-for-5 at the dish with a double and an RBI and the bottom of the order was productive as well. The last three hitters for the Gators accounted for six hits and five of the Gators’ seven runs, including two doubles and three RBI from India.
“I thought we swung the bat very well. We got off to a good start with a very good defense,” UF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I don’t think we played our best game, but this is a mark of a good team where we can beat a really good team and not play our best.”
After the Gators jumped out to the 3-0 after three innings, they tacked on another one in the fourth and three more in the sixth to effectively put the game out of reach for the Aggies.
Down 4-0 in the fifth, A&M had a prime opportunity to get itself back into the game. Ryne Birk, Boomer White and Hunter Melton hit consecutive singles to load the bases with one out and also knocked Florida starter Logan Shore out of the ballgame.
However, Nick Banks and Michael Barash hit back-to-back weak ground balls that each resulted in a fielder’s choice and the Gators escaped the inning unscathed.
A&M ultimately did not go down without a fight, though, as Moss led off the top of the seventh with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by White.
In the ninth, Birk drove home pinch hitter Austin Homan with an RBI double and, after a flyout by White, Hunter Melton lifted an opposite-field home run to right field for his team-leading fifth homer of the season.
“Credit to Texas A&M for fighting all the way until the ninth inning,” Reed said. “As a staff, we have to do a better job not letting those runs come across the plate. We won, and that is the biggest thing. Tomorrow, it may rain, but we’re going to prepare the same way.”
Even with the loss, the Aggies were able to get solid relief appearances from Hill, Cason Sherrod and Mitchell Kilkenny, meaning that the bullpen is still fresh for the final two games of the series.
“We had some guys give us some good innings tonight and we have the guys available we need for the rest of the series,” said Childress.
The series picks up Saturday as the Aggies send senior Kyle Simonds to the mound while Florida counters with righty Alex Faedo. First pitch is slated to be delivered at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

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