Defending National Champion and unanimous preseason No. 1 Florida scored six unanswered two-out runs over its final three at-bats to pull away late from Siena Baseball 7-1 in the season opener for both teams at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Sophomore righthander Brendan White turned in a strong six-inning effort for the Saints, scattering three runs on seven hits while striking out six.
Preseason First Team All-American and the No. 1 rated prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft Brady Singer allowed just two hits and one unearned run while striking out eight over seven innings to earn the win for Florida which has captured all 13 meetings between the programs.
White retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and struck out the side in the third in an impressive performance for Siena. However, the Gators opened the scoring with a leadoff home run in the fourth by Preseason Second Team All-American Jonathan India.
The Saints rallied to knot the score at 1-1 in the sixth. Sophomore transfer Yasser Santana singled to open the frame, and came home to score from third on a two-out error by Brady McConnell.
But clutch Florida finally broke through with two, two-out runs apiece over the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to slowly pull away. Wil Dalton delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the home half of the sixth, and Blake Reese knocked him in with a run-scoring double. Nelson Maldonado added insurance with a two-run double in the seventh, and McConnell provided the final margin with a two-run home run in the eighth.
Junior designated hitter Brian Kelly joined Santana in accounting for the two Siena hits, while freshman centerfielder Brendan Conley worked a pair of walks and successfully executed a sacrifice in a productive effort out of the No. 9 hole.
Junior southpaw Tommy Miller gets the ball for the middle game of the series Saturday vs. Florida righthander and Preseason Second Team All-American Jackson Kowar. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.