PENSCOLA, Fla. - Florida scored twice in both the sixth and seventh innings to rally and beat Southern Miss, 4-2, here Tuesday night in front of 4,720 at Bayfront Stadium.
The Golden Eagles, which played in the Double A home of the Cincinnati Reds, dropped their first meeting in four games all-time against the Gators.
The Gators broke open a deadlock score by getting two tallies in the seventh to go ahead for good. UF took advantage of a hit batsman, two walks and an error as Braden Mattson, who had three of the Gators' eight hits, drove in the first run with a single. A.J. Puk then knocked in the game's final run on a fielder's choice that Michael Sterling misplayed at shortstop. It was one of four Southern Miss errors in the contest.
The Golden Eagles opened the scoring with both their runs in the top of the fourth. Sterling led off the frame with a shallow fly ball to right field that was dropped by Mattson. Mason Robbins then followed with a double into the left field corner to plate the first run before Tim Lynch knocked in the second run with a single to left-centerfield.
UF tied the contest two runs of their own in the sixth. Casey Turgeon led off the frame with a double. After a groundout and a hit batter, Mattson drove in the Gators' first run. Josh Tobias tied the game with a bloop single to center.
Nick Johnson (0-2) the third of five Southern Miss pitchers suffered the loss as he gave up two runs on a walk and a hit batter. Christian Talley notched a solid start for the Golden Eagles, allowing two runs on five hits and a season-high tying five strikeouts.
UF's Aaron Rhodes threw 3 2/3 scoreless relief innings, limiting the Eagles to one hit and two walks with four strikeouts registered the victory to improve to 1-0 on the year.
The Golden Eagles continue their road swing this weekend when the travel to play Missouri for a three-game set. The series begins Friday with a 6 p.m. contest.
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