Gator baseball team blanks Texas Tech, 6-0 in Gainesville Regional Final

Riopelle, Langford carry UF offense with homers; Gators advance to host Gamecocks
Postgame comments: BT Riopelle, Josh Rivera, and head coach Kevin O'Sullivan
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 2:51 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Gator baseball team is bound for the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2018. Florida, the No. 2 overall national seed, defeated Texas Tech, 6-0 on Monday to cap off a come from behind effort in the NCAA Gainesville Regional. After dropping a game to Texas Tech on Saturday, Florida (48-15) won three games over two days to advance. The Gators will host No. 15 seed South Carolina in a best-of-three series this weekend.

Wyatt Langford got the scoring underway with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning, his 18th of the season and his third career homer in the NCAA tournament.

In the fourth, BT Riopelle followed Josh Rivera’s leadoff single with a two-run homer to break out of an 0-for-15 slump. Riopelle had struck out eight times in the regional prior to Monday. But the fifth-year catcher wasn’t done yet.

After Rivera made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the fifth, Riopelle hit a bullet that just cleared the right field fence for his second homer of the game and 15th of the season. Riopelle and Colby Halter each had two hits, and Rivera went 3-for-4.

Aside from giving up three home runs in the loss to Texas Tech on Saturday, Florida’s pitching staff was solid during the regional. Ryan Slater got the start against the Red Raiders and tossed five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. After two innings from Phillip Abner, Brandon Neely closed it out. The Gators out-hit the Red Raiders, 11-4.

On Sunday afternoon, Hurston Waldrep went seven innings against UConn, allowing just five hits. And on Sunday evening, Cade Fisher gave up just one earned run on five hits in his second career start. When you factor in Florida’s 3-0 shutout of Florida A&M on Friday, The Gators posted an ERA of 1.63 in the five-game Gainesville Regional with a pair of shutouts.

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