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No. 1 Florida rolls in series opener

The Vols were no match for the top-ranked Gators in the series opener.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Florida had its ace and top MLB Draft prospect Brady Singer on the mound Saturday, but it didn’t need him as the Gators’ offense struck for a season-high in runs, beating Tennessee 22-6.

The Gators scored five runs in the second inning on home runs from Nick Horvath and Deacon Liput. Jonathan India added a three-run shot in Florida’s seven-run fifth inning to blow the game open. Every starter in Florida’s lineup scored at least one run.

“If you’re looking for a silver lining, you’re reaching,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said. “I think there is such a thing as too much respect for your opponent and I think that played into some things tonight.”

Tennessee starter Garrett Crochet went 4.1 innings, giving up 10 runs — eight earned — on eight hits.

“(Crochet) threw two really strong innings back-to-back and that helped our offense throw a couple punches back at them and that was the most encouraging part of the game,” Vitello said.

Florida starter Brady Singer didn’t have his best outing, but it was certainly good enough with what his offense provided. Singer pitched five innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits. He is regarded as one of the top pitchers eligible for the 2018 MLB Draft.

Tennessee will try to get back at the top-ranked Gators on Sunday when the teams will play a doubleheader of two seven-inning games beginning at noon.