No. 6 Florida Surges Past Redbirds
No. 6 FLORIDA 8, ILLINOIS STATE 2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Chad Hinshaw had two hits, including a triple and a run scored in the fourth inning, but a pair of three-run innings in the middle of the game lifted No. 6 Florida past Illinois State, 8-2, at McKethan Stadium Tuesday night.
Hinshaw's triple to lead off the fourth was the first hit of the game for Illinois State (4-6) off of Florida starter Hudson Randall, who retired the first nine batters in order. Anthony Ruffolo grounded out but in the next at-bat, but drove in Hinshaw to tie the game at 1-1. Florida (8-2) responded with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings off Illinois State relief pitchers to hand the Redbirds their fifth-consecutive loss.
Illinois State's Brad Sorkin scattered five hits over four innings in his first collegiate start, and was tagged with the loss despite limiting the Gators to two runs before giving way to the bullpen in the fifth. Sorkin struck out three batters and walked one, Florida leadoff batter Matt den Dekker, who later scored to give the Gators a 1-0 advantage after one inning.
Sorkin worked around a hit in the second inning and induced a double play ball to strand a pair of runners in the third, but a pair of back-to-back singles in the fourth pushed across another run for Florida and negated Hinshaw's tally in the top half of the inning.
Florida scored six runs off of five hits and three walks - two intentional - against Illinois State relievers Jake Wielebnicki and Cam Verbeke in the fifth and sixth innings. The Redbirds walked Preston Tucker twice to get to Austin Maddox and set up the possibility of a double play, but Wielebnicki hit Maddox in the fifth to load the bases and Maddox lined a ball over the right field wall for a three-run home run in the sixth.
Matt Werderitch and Jim Sajewich each posted a scoreless inning of relief for the Redbirds, who could only answer with a single run in the eighth. Jake Thornton joined Hinshaw with two hits in the game and was driven in by Josh Colon's double in the top of the eighth inning.
Illinois State was out-hit 11-7 in the game and issued four walks. Florida also stole a season-high nine bases. Redbird first basaeman Zach Amrein extended his team-best hitting streak to 10 games, while the Gators' den Dekker extended his hitting streak to 19 games and scored three runs.
The Redbirds and Gators meet again Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Illinois State will send freshman right-hander JD Learnard to the mound against Florida's sophomore righty Anthony DeSclafani.
Other Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 8, Eastern Illinois 2
No. 21 Wichita State 14, Central Arkansas 2