GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Sophomore left-hander A.J. Puk worked a career-high 6.2 innings, while senior Josh Tobias (5-for-5) and junior Harrison Bader (2-for-3) drove in three runs apiece as No. 2 Florida (9-1) clinched its weekend series with a 14-3 victory against Stony Brook (2-6) on Saturday at McKethan Stadium. Eight of the Gators’ 16 hits went for extra bases and the Orange and Blue tallied 10 runs with two out.
Junior Johnny Caputo gave the visitors a quick lead in the first inning with a three-run homer to right field. Junior Jack Parenty had singled up the middle with one down and senior Cole Peragine followed with a walk before Caputo’s first big fly of the year.
The Gators countered with five runs in the bottom of the frame, all with two out, to seize a 5-3 advantage. Sophomore Buddy Reed (1-for-4, three runs) drew a one-out walk from junior Tyler Honahan (1-1), junior Richie Martin singled up the middle and Bader earned a free pass to fill the sacks. Freshman Mike Rivera put the hosts on the board with a two-run single through the right side and Bader tied the game with a steal of home. With Rivera at second base, Tobias doubled down the left-field line to drive in his teammate and sophomore John Sternagel delivered an RBI single into left to score Tobias.
Harrison Bader belted a solo homer and had a two-run double for the Gators (Photo by Tim Casey).
Puk (2-1) retired the side in order in both the second and third innings and Bader opened UF’s third at bat with his team-leading fifth homer to left field. An infield single by Tobias and a walk to Sternagel ended the day for Honahan (2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER).
Bader expanded the Gators’ cushion to 8-3 in the fourth with a two-run double into the left-field corner that brought across freshman Dalton Guthrie (2-for-5, two runs) and Martin (walk). A two-out infield single by Tobias scored Bader and prompted a pitching change, as freshman Nicholas DiEva took over for junior Edwin Corniel (1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R).
After surrendering the homer in the first inning, Puk retired 13 straight Stony Brook hitters until yielding a two-out single in the fifth to sophomore Toby Handley (2-for-3). The left-hander responded with an inning-ending strikeout of senior Robert Chavarria to equal his career high of seven punchouts. Reed blasted his first career homer to right field with Sternagel aboard in the fifth and Tobias added an RBI single in the sixth for a 12-3 margin. The Gators tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI grounder by freshman Taylor Lane and a wild pitch that enabled Reed to come home. Freshman Alex Faedo worked the final 2.1 innings for the Gators and registered three strikeouts.