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Ashton Wilson doubles 3 times and hits his first homer of season in Florida's 5-2 win over Huskers

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Ashton Wilson doubled three times and hit his first home run for Florida, and the Gators opened the NCAA Stillwater Regional with a 5-2 victory over Nebraska on Friday.

Wilson made just his fifth start of the season, all since May 16, after transferring from Charleston Southern. His two-run double in the third inning gave the Gators (29-27) the lead for good, and his homer to left in the ninth put them up three runs.

Freshman starter Liam Peterson (3-4) allowed two runs on four hits, walked three and struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings for the Gators, who will play Saturday against the winner of Friday night's game between Niagara and Oklahoma State.

Big Ten pitcher of the year Brett Sears (9-1) gave up three runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings and took his first loss. The Cornhuskers (39-21), in their first regional since 2021, will play the Niagara-Oklahoma State loser in an elimination game on Saturday.

The Gators, the national runners-up to LSU last year and in their 16th straight regional, went ahead 1-0 when leadoff man Cade Kurland hit Sears’ third pitch over the left-center fence. Nebraska got that run back in the bottom of the first, but Wilson's double down the left-field line in the third restored the Gators' lead.

Gabe Swansen's homer in the sixth pulled the Huskers within 3-2. The Gators got their final runs on Kurland's single in the eighth and Wilson's first home run since April 16, 2023, when he played for Charleston Southern.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports