On Monday, I mentioned that Florida's Mike Zunino, the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and surefire top-three pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, has been struggling of late. In that context, seeing him hit a walkoff double against North Florida to give the Gators a 4-3 win on Tuesday night was pretty awesome.
The Gators catcher delivered a no-out double in the bottom of the 11th inning to score Connor Mitchell and down the Ospreys, the best moment in a 3-for-5, two-RBI, one-walk, one-stolen base performance that might be what Big Z needs to emerge from his slump.
The Gators and Ospreys exchanged single runs in the second and third innings before Florida took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on a solo homer by Nolan Fontana. UNF equalized in the eighth on Alex Bacon's RBI double, and both teams threatened multiple times before Zunino's game-winner.
Florida freshman Johnny Magliozzi started and allowed two runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, but parts of Florida's bullpen, as usual, pitched beautifully. Keenan Kish worked four scoreless innings, Steven Rodriguez had four strikeouts in 2.2 innings of hitless work, and Ryan Harris got his second win of the season by throwing a scoreless top of the 11th.
The big win on the night was getting Zunino untracked, however, and if the Gators' fantastic catcher can begin to approximate his form from last season, Florida is that much more dangerous heading into postseason play.