Jacob Young reaches hitting streak milestone in Gators shutout win
Young’s 30 game hitting streak broke Tim Olson’s 21-year-old record
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Jacob Young singled up the middle in the bottom of the eighth to extend his hitting streak to a program record 30 consecutive games, as Gator Baseball earned its first shutout of the season in its series finale against the Rattlers on Sunday.
Florida (9-3) entered Sunday’s final game of the three-game series against Florida A&M (0-11) having won the first two contests in a double header on Friday.
The pressure to earn the sweep wasn’t nearly as high as it was for third-year sophomore, Jacob Young. The left fielder had safely hit in 29 straight games coming in to Sunday, tying him with Tim Olson for the most in program history.
After starting pitcher Hunter Barco retired the Rattlers in order, including striking out the last two batters in the top of the first, Young led off the home-half of the frame reaching on an error by A&M third baseman, Tristen Cooper. With the lead man aboard, Jud Fabian blasted his sixth home run of the season to bring Young in to make it 2-0, Florida.
The Gators went on to add six more runs over the next four innings as they extended their lead out to 8-0.
By the bottom of the eighth, Young was still hitless. He’d reached on an error, been hit by a pitch, popped out to second, and grounded out to second. Fans, teammates, and coaches knew this would be his last appearance at the plate to register the record-breaking hit.
As Young led off the inning, he worked the count to 3-1 against relief pitcher Landon Neville. The next pitch, he connected on a ball low and inside that he sent bounding back up the middle off the right side of the pitchers mound. The ball was hit with a medium pace that forced Rattler shortstop JD Tease to charge the ball in hopes of beating the speedy Young to first. In his rush to scoop and get rid of the ball as fast as he could, Tease picked up his glove before the ball met his mitt and rolled beyond the infield while Young safely touched first.
It took a minute of suspense for the official scorer to record the at-bat as a hit, but once it was posted on the jumbotron, Gator fans and teammates rose to their feet to salute the milestone. Young had broken the 21-year-old mark set by Tim Olson with his 30 game hitting streak.
Young is the seventh player in Southeastern Conference history to safely hit in 30 or more consecutive games.
To top it off, Florida’s bullpen closed out A&M to preserve their first shutout of the season with an 8-0 win.
The Gators have the day off Monday, but will host Georgia State for one game on Tuesday.
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