Georgia Southern shocks No. 1 Florida baseball

By Adam Silverstein
March 8, 2011

Coming off a three-game sweep of No. 24 Miami, No. 1 Florida Gators baseball did not expect the Georgia Southern Eagles to put up much of a fight Tuesday night. With the game scoreless entering the fifth inning, Georgia Southern (8-5) exploded for seven runs over the final four innings of the game to rout Florida (10-2) 7-0 and end their 24-game home winning streak at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Looking to give their starters a rest, the Gators began the game with junior left-handed pitcher Nick Mardone on the hill. Mardone struck out five in only 2.2 innings before being replaced by junior right-handed pitcher Greg Larson (0-1), who gave up two earned runs on three hits in three innings to earn the loss.

Only one of the four other runs Florida allowed was earned as errors and miscues cost the Gators dearly. None if it mattered, however, as Florida’s offense was only able to muster three singles over the course of the game. Eagles pitchers Chris Beck, Josh Adams (3-1) and Matt Murray (S2) teamed up to complete Georgia Southern’s shutout. The trio combined to strike out 11 UF batters, with Beck giving up his team’s only walk.

GSU center fielder Shawn Payne (2-5, 2 RBI, R), first baseman Steve Cochrane (1-5, 2 RBI, R) and shortstop Ben Morgan (3-4, 2 R) led the way for their team offensively.

Florida faces South Florida in Tampa on Wednesday before returning home for a three-game weekend series against Rhode Island from Friday-Sunday.

12 Comments

  1. 305gator says:

    What’s Georgia Southern?

    This should only make the team work harder. Go Gators!

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    Wow….back to reality…this team is still going to be tough to beat, but 7-0 against a mediocre team at home is very dissapointing. It is a long season, though, and rankings won’t matter considering Gators will again have one of toughest SoS in the nation, and if they take care of business will still be a top or near top national seed when it all falls out….

  3. Daniel M. says:

    It’s baseball and it’s one game. No team wins all games in baseball. No top team in baseball doesn’t sometimes get out slugged by a junk team. It’s the nature of baseball. Now if this happens in 3 out of five games then maybe we should get a little nervous. Big picture this means nothing.

  4. cline says:

    Didn’t Georgia Southern beat us 2 years ago in Regionals? They started their best pitcher, whom IMO is pretty darn good to be playing at UGA southern.

  5. Mr2Bits says:

    I’m really starting to be concerned how O’Sullivan is managing this team. First, he runs our bullpen out against FSU to start last week when they intentionally managed their top starters to be able to go deep against us and now this deja vu. I know its baseball and only one game etc but I’m starting to see a pattern when he does not game plan very well or decided to start resting players.

    • It’s simple…he thought the Gators could get by running out the lineup and group of pitchers they did. He was wrong. If the game was closer later, he would have thrown out better pitchers to end the game. After that error-filled inning, it was game over. Florida just couldn’t get on base.

    • jay d says:

      I was about to post the same thing untill i saw my thoughts already written…..our coach is great & i love him…but why we started an untested toledo in 2011 against fsu is beyond me and now he lets some other pitchers get some playing time against what he thought would be a cake walk…he should know better than anybody that our offense is not the best…let alone anywhere near consistant….our best available players should be playing throughout each game and if the games are in hand let the others get some relief action/expieriance..losing to ga sourthern at home is unacceptable regaurdless of us being ranked or not…hopefully he adjusts his line-up blunders for mid-week games because this team has a real chance to be special…..

  6. Mark01 says:

    2 Bits,

    I really like O’Sullivans approach.

    His eyes are on the prize and that is getting to Omaha. Midweek games in College Baseball are close to insignificant. Keep our guys in their rhythm. If FSU wants to throw their weekend starters against us let them. It will hurt them in the long term.

    • Basshole says:

      I agree, midweek games you usually have your 4th or 5th starter going, so it’s not a true gauge of how the teams stack up against each other. Anybody freaking out about this loss really needs to calm down.

  7. npgator says:

    We aren’t going to go undefeated but this was a bad loss. We will not win it all with the hitting that we currently have or don’t have.

  8. gatorgrad79 says:

    Everybody take a deep breath! No one ever likes to lose, but a humbling loss can be a great reminder that every day and every opponent must receive equal focus, and this may have kept some egos in check at an opportune time.

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