Florida baseball picked up its second win of 2012 on Saturday, as Karsten Whitson (1-0) and Austin Maddox (1 save) combined to hold the Cal State Fullerton Titans to two runs in a 5-2 matinee victory. Whitson gave up two runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts in five innings, while Maddox picked up the save, showing off his new very effective slider, while throwing four innings of one hit, shutout baseball.
The win ensures the Gators will take the series from perennial powerhouse and 16th-ranked Cal State Fullerton and moves top-ranked Florida to 2-0 on the young season. Freshman continued to impact the game for the Gators, as head coach Kevin O'Sullivan started four rookies in game two. And Taylor Gushue is proving he belongs in the lineup.
The fourth inning belonged to the Gators, though, and they never looked back after scoring four runs on four hits. Mike Zunino put the Gators on the board with a RBI single. Then Gushue, justly proving his value in the designated hitter role, hit a bases-clearing triple to put Florida up 3-2. Fellow freshman Justin Shafer added to the lead with a sac fly to score Gushue and push the Gators lead to 4-2. UF capped off the scoring with a Preston Tucker single up the middle that scored Daniel Pigottand gave Florida the final score of 5-2.
Redshirt freshman Grahamm Wiest was handed the loss for the Titans, who fell to 0-2 on the season. The story of the game was All-American Austin Maddox. Maddox retired 12 of 13 men he faced and unveiled a new slider, much to the chagrin of Cal State Fullerton's hitters, who fanned three times against him Maddox.
The series resumes today as Cal State Fullerton sends freshman southpaw Kenny Mathews to the bump against Florida's Brian Johnson. The game starts at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on Country 103.7 The Gator and Gatorvision Online.