The Gators once again came out of the blocks quickly with an unearned run in the first and a pair of runs in the second to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.
The Dolphins sent seven batters to the plate in top half of the third. Scott Schaub led off with an infield single. Kris Molter (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Zac Houck (Orange Park, Fla.) both walked loading the bases for Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla.). Babb then ripped and 0-1 pitch to right field plating Schaub. Molter was out retired at the plate on the play setting the stage for Drew Luther (Fullerton, Ca.). Luther promptly delivered a bases clearing double that put the Dolphins ahead 3-2.
The Gators added a run in the bottom half of the seventh inning on a three hits. The Dolphins were helped out when Brady North (Tampa, Fla.) caught a line drive at first and tagged the runner to end the inning.
The Dolphins would answer back quickly in the top half of the eighth. Babb led off with a triple. Luther was hit by a pitch. North then doubled down the left field line scoring Babb. Garrett Ruckel (Jacksonville, Fla.) then added an RBI groundout out to shortstop tying the score at 5-5.
UF scored a run in the bottom half of the inning without the benefit of a hit. The Dolphins committed two costly errors allowing the run to score.
The Dolphins rallied off the deck in the top half of the ninth. Nathan Koslowski (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit a one out double. Houck had an infield single. Luther singled to center scoring Koslowski and putting the Dolphins ahead 6-5 headed to the bottom of the ninth.
Justin Shafer led off for the Gators and reached on an infield single. Zack Powers was hit by a pitch. Taylor Gushue then laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing the runners. Cody Dent then lifted a fly ball to left field that appeared to caught easily by Koslowski and while attempting to remove the ball from his glove to throw to the plate he dropped the ball allowing the tying run to score. On the play Powers was thrown out trying to advance to third to seemingly end the inning.
The Dolphins were retreating to their dugout to start extra innings when the third base umpire ruled that Koslowski had not caught the ball therefore leaving the Gators with runners on first and second with two outs. On the next pitch Connor Mitchell singled up the middle giving the Gators a controversial 7-6 win.
The Dolphins sent sophomore Alex McRae (West Allis, Wisc.) to the hill to try and grab game two of the rare home and home weekday series. McRae went four innings allowing three runs of which only two were earned.
Jeff Tanner (Jacksonville, Fla.) pitched two innings allowing one earned run on four hits while Will Flor (Bloomington, Minn.) pitched one inning striking out one and allowing no hits.
The Dolphins handed the ball to closer Drew Woods (Jacksonville, Fla.) who was victimized by three costly Dolphin errors and the controversial call in left field. Woods was credited with the loss pitching 1 2/3 innings allowing three unearned runs in the hard luck decision. Woods ‘ record falls to (0-1) on the season.
The Dolphins will be back in action from Orlando on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. from the campus of the UCF Knights.