No. 1 Florida has had a relatively uneventful baseball season so far. The Gators, regarded as one of the nation's most talented outfits, have rolled along, losing just one series and four games despite a tough early-season schedule with games against Cal State-Fullerton, Miami, Florida State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Mississippi, that ranks among the most rigorous of any team in the country. And Sunday's loss to Ole Miss looked like the worst one of the season for the Gators.
Then Florida lost to unranked North Florida on Tuesday night, a thudding 10-5 result that leaves the Gators 1-3 over their last four games with a weekend series with LSU looming.
Florida's sophomore phenom, Karsten Whitson, made just his third start of the season, and struck out two batters in a perfect eight-pitch first inning for the Gators. But he was starting as the final step of his rehabilitation from multiple injuries, and the second line of pitchers that followed him was battered by the Ospreys: Bobby Poyner allowed four runs, three earned, without recording an out, Johnny Magliozzi faced 15 batters in three innings of work, and Magliozzi, Daniel Gibson, Justin Shafer, and Corey Stump all let at least one run cross home plate in their relief work.
Daniel Pigott and Casey Turgeon each collected three hits at the top of Florida's order, but no other Gator had more than one; Pigott, Mike Zunino, and Preston Tucker all had an RBI, but each side committed three errors, creating a total of five unearned runs on the night.
Florida's next game is Thursday against LSU at McKethan Stadium. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.