Sophomore Dylan Dillard belted a three-run homer with two down in the seventh inning to lift Jacksonville (14-25) to a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Florida (27-14) on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Dillard’s second big fly of the year supported a strong effort on the mound by redshirt junior right-hander Justin Russell (5-2), who limited the Gators to one run and three hits over seven innings. JU’s Friday night starter, junior Alex McRae, pitched the final two frames to collect his first save.
Junior Zack Powers had given the home team a 1-0 lead with a two-out homer to right field in the second inning.
After redshirt junior right-hander Karsten Whitson delivered season-highs in innings (five shutout frames) and strikeouts (five), junior Angelo Amendolare greeted junior reliever Ryan Harris with an infield single to start the sixth and was sacrificed over by junior Cameron Gibson. Harris stranded the runner with consecutive grounders by sophomore Connor Marabell and senior Scott Schaub.
In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Richie Martin legged out a triple with one down and junior Taylor Gushue was issued a two-out intentional walk but Russell had junior Braden Mattson line out to right field to keep the Dolphins down a run.
Senior Braddock Rowe and sophomore Michael Babb were each hit with one down in the seventh by Harris and freshman Alex Seifert moved his teammates into scoring position with a bunt. Dillard then gave Jacksonville a 3-1 lead with a homer into the left-field bleachers.