Redbirds Shut Out by No. 6 Florida, 8-0
No. 6 FLORIDA 8, ILLINOIS STATE 0
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani held the Redbirds to just one hit in 5.1 innings of work and got the run support he needed, as the No. 6 Gators defeated Illinois State, 8-0, at McKethan Stadium Wednesday night.
DeSclafani struck out six batters and walked one, Illinois State's Brett Thaden in the fifth to snap a streak of 11 consecutive batters retired, and earned his first win of the season for the Gators (9-2). The Redbirds (4-7) were held to two hits in the game, both by Kevin Tokarski, while dropping their fifth-consecutive contest.
For the second consecutive game, Illinois State kept pace with Florida through the first half of the game. Freshman right-hander JD Learnard made his first career start for the Redbirds and limited Florida to four hits and a single run through four innings, but took the loss.
Cody Dent drove in Kamm Washington with a two-out single in the second for Florida's first run - the eventual game winner - and the Gators added another run in the fifth off of Redbird reliever Kenny Long. Florida delivered a crushing blow in the bottom of the sixth when Austin Maddox hit a grand slam to left center and pushed the lead to 6-0.
Illinois State had walked designated hitter Preston Tucker to set up more favorable defensive options, his second intentional walk of the game and fourth of the two-game series, but Maddox thwarted the effort. Florida added two more runs in the eighth inning to complete the scoring.
Tokarski finished the game 2-for-4, Thaden walked, and Jake Thornton reached on an error in the first inning - Illinois State's only base runners in the game. The Redbirds used five pitchers in the contest, including Ryan Copeland, who pitched a perfect seventh inning.
Maddox was 4-for-5 in the game for Florida and drove in six of the team's eight runs. Matt den Dekker and Josh Adams also had two hits for the Gators.
Illinois State travels to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Kennel Club Classic at the University of North Florida (March 12-14). The Redbirds will open the tournament against James Madison Friday at 6 p.m. and match-up with the tournament host Ospreys Saturday at noon. The Redbirds will conclude tournament play and their spring break trip against James Madison Sunday at 10 a.m.
OTHER SCORES AROUND THE VALLEY:
No. 21 Wichita State 8, Central Arkansas 2
Creighton 11, UT-Arlington 5
SEMO 12, Missouri State 11