MIAMI, FL — Top-ranked Florida secured a 7-4 win over Bethune-Cookman at McKethan Stadium to improve to 5-0 in its early season fixtures on Wednesday night.
The Gators scored seven runs on 11 hits and used an impressive bullpen to shut down the Wildcats.
Florida grabbed three runs in the third innings to open up a 4-0 lead and then scored two more in the seventh as Bethune-Cookman was held to just one run on four hits over the last six innings.
The home side also scored one run apiece in the first and fifth, respectively, while Nelson Maldonado went 3-of-4 and scored two runs in the Gators’ triumph.
Sophomore Nick Long went 2.1 scoreless innings, while freshman Hunter McMullen allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings.
The Wildcats belted three runs off Florida freshman Jordan Butler in the fourth inning before the Gators tightened things up afterward.
“First of all, I thought Nick Long came in and did a nice job, 2.1 scoreless, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said about the bullpen.
“Hunter obviously came in and did a really nice job, got a big double play ball. He continues to throw the ball really well. Michael [Byrne] got his first save of the year.”
Meanwhile, St. John’s took down No. 6 North Carolina 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
The Red Storm grabbed three runs in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and then held on for the win.
St. John’s scored five runs on eight hits and limit the Tar Heels to two runs on 10 runs for the win.
In another Top 10 score, No. 4 Arkansas edged Arizona 1-0.
The victory in San Diego was structured around a scoreless outing by starting pitcher Kacey Murphy and a fifth-inning home run by Heston Kjerstad.
In his first appearance in 2018, Murphy managed to keep a very strong Arizona lineup quiet by throwing six scoreless innings with just one hit allowed, one walk, and six strikeouts on 73 pitches.
Freshman Kjerstad continued his recent good form by hitting the solo home run at the top of fifth to secure victory for the Razorbacks at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Meanwhile, No. 13 Vanderbilt easily powered past Presbyterian 15-2 to win their third straight.
The Commodores, who took down the Blue Hose 7-1 on Tuesday in their midweek series, move to 4-1 on the season.
Elsewhere, No. 23 LSU beat New Orleans 14-6, No. 21 Mississippi State eased to a 12-1 victory over Jackson State, while No. 19 Texas beat Lamar 7-2.
College Baseball Top 25 Scores
Wednesday, February 21
No. 1 Florida 7, Bethune-Cookman 4
No. 4 Arkansas 1, Arizona 0
St. John’s 5, No. 6 North Carolina 2
No. 13 Vanderbilt 15, Presbyterian 2
No. 21 Mississippi State 12, Jackson State 1
No. 23 LSU 14, New Orleans 6