GAINESVILLE -- The aluminum ping of college baseball is back and the No.23 Gators started their season on Friday night with a 6-3 win against No.16 Louisville.
UF senior pitcher Patrick Keating (1-0) allowed four hits and three runs in seven innings and struck out a career-high seven batters. Junior pitcher Billy Bullock recorded the first save of his career, allowing two hits in two innings.
Florida took a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run triple by sixth-year senior Brandon McArthur and a sacrifice fly from freshman designated hitter Preston Tucker. Florida went up 4-0 in the second inning when sophomore Riley Cooper scored on an error by Louisville shortstop John Dao. Cooper reached on a single and went 1-for-3.
Louisville cut the Gators' lead to 4-3 in the seventh inning on a home run by Cardinals' second baseman Adam Duvall. Florida extended its lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh when Gators' senior Avery Barnes singled in junior catcher Buddy Munroe and UF junior Matt den Dekker knocked in freshman shortstop Mike Mooney with an infield single. Den Dekker, who starred at Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy, went 1-for-4.
A few thoughts: UF sophomore Josh Adams is a solid baseball player. Expect a big year from Adams. He went 2-for-4 at the plate and showed good instincts at third base. Keating is a quality Friday starter. He only made two mistakes in his season debut: the home run to Duvall and a lead-off double to Louisville first baseman Andrew Clark in the fourth.