Baseball

Harrison Bader scores game winner in MLB debut; Mike Zunino homers; Preston Tucker earns PCL POW

Former Florida Gator outfielder Harrison Bader made his much anticipated Major League debut on Tuesday. And he didn’t disappoint.

In Bader’s first at-bat in the second inning, he hit a routine ground ball to short and was just a fraction of a second from beating it. Bader even waited to see if manager Mike Matheny would challenged the play. Matheny chose not to and the game would resume.

However, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bader got his first career base hit. Bader ripped a lead off double off Colorado relief pitcher Jake McGee. Greg Garcia sacrificed Bader to third base. Pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko hit a fly ball to shallow right field, Bader tagged up and raced home, sliding and scoring the game winning run.

It was an excellent moment for the former third round pick, and with the Cardinals only four games back of a playoff spot, Bader could figure into the race.

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Mike Zunino just keeps crushing the ball in Seattle.

Former first round pick (number 3 overall) Mike Zunino continues to crush the ball for the Seattle Mariners.

On Saturday, Zunino hit a 425-foot home run in the third inning to tie the game. Eventually Seattle would win the game 6-5 in ten innings.

On Tuesday, Zunino hit a solo shot to centerfield in the seventh inning to tie the ballgame 4-4. The ball traveled 413 feet. Seattle would end up winning the game in 13 innings.

Zunino is now up to 15 homers on the year. He is closing in on his MLB career high of 22 which was set in 2014. Zunino is only hitting .226, but he also has 42 RBIs.

Seattle is 2.5 games out of the wild card, and Zunino will certainly play a major part of the Mariners run toward postseason play.

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Tucker named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week.

Preston Tucker was named the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Week for his performance last week. Tucker led the Fresno Grizzlies to a 6-1 record. Tucker hit .393, with an on-base percentage of .500. Tucker also hit five home runs and drove in a minor league baseball best 13 runs.

In 91 games at Triple-A, Tucker is hitting .274 with 19 home runs and a team leading 76 RBIs.

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If there is a former Florida Gator baseball player you would like The Gator Chomp Blog to feature in a future story, please comment that players name.

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