GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of South Alabama baseball team tallied season highs in hits and runs scored in a 19-1 win over 14th-ranked Florida Saturday in an NCAA Gainesville Regional elimination game at Florida Ballpark.
USA (34-21) held a 4-1 lead after five-and-a-half innings before erupting for 10 runs on 10 hits in the bottom of the sixth to build a 14-1 lead. The Jags added five additional runs in the bottom of the seventh on three home runs to cap their 19-1 victory, and finished with 21 hits in the contest.
Right-hander Miles Smith (7-1) allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts, and did not issue a walk in six innings pitched to record his third win in less than a week after posting two wins at last week's Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Every USA starter hit safely in the game, and seven Jags recorded multiple hits. Kaleb DeLaTorre finished with a career-high four hits, including a home run, and Santi Montiel drove in a career-high five runs and hit one home run.
South Alabama will return to action Sunday at noon in the NCAA Gainesville Regional when it faces the loser of South Florida and Miami in an elimination game at Florida Ballpark.
- Jacob Young led off the game with a single to center field, moved to second on a wild pitch from Jag right-hander Miles Smith, and advanced to third with one out on a groundout to first base by Nathan Hickey. Young attempted to tag up and score on a flyout to left field off the bat of Jud Fabian, but was put out at the plate on Ethan Wilson's throw to home to cap the inning-ending double play.
- Montiel drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first, moved to second when Michael Sandle reached on a hit by pitch and scored on a one-out single up the middle by Hunter Stokes for a 1-0 Jag lead. DeLaTorre followed with an RBI single to right field to plate Sandle and double the USA lead at 2-0.
- Florida answered in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly to left field by Mac Guscette to cut the Jag lead in half at 2-1.
- Sandle reached on a throwing error by UF third baseman Nathan Hickey to lead off the bottom of the fifth then stole second. DeLaTorre drew a one-out walk before Cam Tissue delivered a two-out, two-run double to right-center field to score Sandle and DeLaTorre for a 4-1 Jaguar lead.
- Hunter Donaldson drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Montiel. A two-out infield single by Sandle put runners at the corners with two outs. Stokes followed with an RBI single to right field to plate Donaldson for a 5-1 lead. DeLaTorre then delivered an RBI single to left field to score Sandle for a 6-1 USA advantage. Andrew Bates followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield for a 7-1 lead. Tissue followed with a two-run single to center field to extend the Jag lead to 9-1. Richard Sorrenti then delivered an RBI single to center field to score Tissue for a 10-1 USA advantage. Donaldson doubled to right center before Montiel delivered a two-run single through the left side of the infield to push the Jag lead to 12-1. Wilson followed with an RBI single to center field for a 13-1 lead. Sandle then delivered an RBI single to right field to plate Wilson for a 14-1 lead.
- DeLaTorre led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run to right field for a 15-1 advantage. Bates followed with a solo shot to right field for a 16-1 USA lead.
- Sandle extended his on-base streak to 24 games when he reached on a hit by pitch in the bottom of the first inning.
- Cam Tissue extended his on-base streak to seven games with a two-run double to right-center field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
- USA's 10-run sixth inning marked the first time the Jags have scored 10 runs in one frame since March 8, 2019, when they plated 10 runs against Sacred Heart.
- The Jags' 19 runs marked a season high, and is the most by a USA team since April 2, 2019, when USA scored 15 runs at Southern Miss.
- USA's 21 hits marked a season high, and is the most by a Jag team since May 13, 2017, at Appalachian State when South Alabama recorded 25 hits.
- The Jags' three home runs in the bottom of the seventh marked the first time the Jags have homered three times in an inning since May 12, 2013, at Louisiana.
- Every Jag starter hit safely in the game, marking the first time since May 7, 2019, at Southeastern Louisiana.
- The back-to-back home runs by DeLaTorre and Bates in the bottom of the seventh marked the first time the Jags have accomplished the feat since March 14 of this season when Wilson and Tommy van de Sanden went back-to-back.
- Right-handers Tyler Perez and Noah Michael, and left-hander Andy Arguelles tossed one scoreless relief inning apiece.