There's never any love lost between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, whether on the football field or the baseball diamond.
Florida won a home series against the Bulldogs over the weekend, and what took place on Sunday in Gainesville was a pretty wild and hilarious sequence of events that included an ejection, a grand slam from the nation's home run leader — and quite the interesting, um, "non-celebration," if that's what you want to call it.
In UF's 11-6 win Sunday, home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere ejected Florida reliever Brandon Neely in the eighth inning after he struck out a Bulldog to leave the bases loaded with his team up 6-4. Neely's reaction after the strikeout — a fist pump and some screaming toward the Georgia dugout — wasn't anything obscene by any means.
But it was what Florida two-way superstar Jac Caglianone did the next inning that really captured everyone's attention.
Jac Caglianone's Grand Slam "Non-Celebration" After Pitcher is Ejected
The pitcher got tossed for celebrating a strikeout, so Jac Caglianone crushed a grand slam the next inning and didn?t celebrate ? pic.twitter.com/SrnVc7fzUA
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) April 17, 2023
#Gators Pitcher Brandon Neely is thrown out for flexing after a massive strike out.
Fans are furious. Showering the home plate umpire with boos - for good reason.
Not entirely sure how that is warranted of ejection pic.twitter.com/2NHDnzrsfX
— Will Levenson (@BigWillLevenson) April 16, 2023
Home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere just ejected Brandon Neely for celebrating his strikeout. And Sully? and the crowd? let him hear it. pic.twitter.com/kEb4tSpue1
— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) April 16, 2023
That's Neely's ejection, from multiple angles. The crowd clearly wasn't pleased. Neither was Florida's coaching staff, including head coach Kevin O'Sullivan. Neely was simply showing some emotion after a big moment in the game.
When Caglianone stepped to the plate with the bases loaded the following inning, he blasted his NCAA-leading 21st home run, a grand slam that put the game out of reach. And when he touched home plate, he "celebrated" by absolutely doing nothing but walking right back to the dugout. He was clearly mocking the umpire for not letting his teammate show any emotion in a college baseball game.
It was the perfect amount of pettiness:
Jac Caglianone is HIM ???
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 16, 2023
Umpire tossed Brandon Neely from the game after his strike out celebration in the top of the 8th. Jac Caglianone then hits a grand slam and makes sure there?s no reason for him to get tossed too pic.twitter.com/UYN8EQny2h
— Stephen Schoch (@bigdonkey47) April 16, 2023
Oh, and by the way, that was Caglianone's second home run of the day. And he also earned the win after starting on the mound, throwing five innings of two-run ball while striking out four batters. Florida improved to 30-7 on the season.
However, Neely's ejection has some pretty big implications. Apparently, an ejection carries a four-game suspension, according to the NCAA rulebook — which means he won't be allowed to play in Florida's upcoming series against South Carolina. The Gamecocks are currently ranked No. 6 in the country, while Florida is three spots ahead of them.
The worst part about the bogus ejection for #Gators closer Brandon Neely is that he's going to miss the South Carolina series because of it.
Here's what the NCAA Baseball Rulebook says about pitchers being suspended for four games following any ejection: pic.twitter.com/uMRd2iB8Hm
— David Rosenberg (@DavidRosenbergg) April 17, 2023
Regardless of the bogus ejection, let's all appreciate just how special of a season Caglianone is having.
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