Simon Whiteman collected four more hits as the Bulldogs gave No. 5 Florida all it could handle in a 6-5 loss on Friday evening in Gainesville.
Tim DeGraw in the ninth singled home Whiteman to bring Yale within a run of tying the game and reached second before the final out was recorded. The Bulldogs fell to 3-5, while the Gators improved to 11-5 overall.
Scott Politz started for the Bulldogs and allowed four runs in the first three innings before settling down to go six innings.
"If we play cleaner in the first few innings we win that game," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "Proud of the way my guys kept battling, but none of us in this program are interested in moral victories. They're disappointed they didn't win that game, and they should be. Back to battle tomorrow."
Whiteman went 4 for 5 and upped his team-leading batting average to .472. He also scored two runs.
"Simon was the best player on the field tonight. By a lot," Stuper added. "He is playing at an extremely high level."
In the fifth, Whiteman led off with a double and moved to third on a Harry Hegeman sac bunt. DeGraw grounded out to third to score Whiteman to cut the Florida lead to 4-2.
Griffin Dey doubled home Hegeman and DeGraw in the seventh to cut the deficit to 5-4. Hegeman and DeGraw (two hits) delivered back to back, one-out singles to get things going in the seventh.
After falling behind 1-0 n the first, Yale rallied to get the first two hitters on base and tied the score in the second. Jake Gehri (two hits) led off with a single and Brian Ronai was hit by a pitch. Dai Dai Otaka sacrificed the runners into the scoring position and Tom Fuller grounded out to score Gehri.
The two teams play again Saturday at 4 p.m. for game two of the three-game series.
Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity