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Wednesday March 8, 2006No. 13 Baseball Holds Off UNC Greensboro, 3-1

Gainesville, FL

Freshman J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) threw five scoreless innings and sophomore reliever Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) worked three innings for his second save to lift No. 13 Florida to a 3-1 triumph over UNC Greensboro on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium. The Gators (11-6) completed a sweep of the two-game series versus the Spartans (3-10) as junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) drove in a pair of runs in the first and junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) belted a solo homer in the fourth. UNCG stranded 12 runners on base despite out-hitting the hosts, 10-8.   


“I thought that we swung the bats better tonight,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “We also did a great job with our short game and we pitched through some adversity. We are starting to defend the field better, which is critical to being a good club.”


The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead against freshman Clinton McKinney (0-2) in the first on a two-run single by Jeroloman. Senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) and junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) delivered consecutive one-out singles and junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) walked to load the bases. Jeroloman followed with a base-hit into left center to collect his first RBI in seven games.


Sophomore Sean Snell opened the third for the Spartans with an infield hit and was sacrificed over by sophomore Greg Feltes. Junior Jermaine Mitchell earned a one-out walk from LaCoste before the southpaw put down junior Guy Welsh (foul pop up) and sophomore Adam Deleo (flyout to right).


UNCG mounted a two-out rally in the fourth, as sophomores Wes McCall and Logan Smith had back-to-back singles. LaCoste worked out of the jam by having Snell fly out to Leclerc. Dickey greeted junior reliever Greg Matson in the home portion of the inning with a towering shot over the bleachers into the O’Connell Center parking lot. The blast was his fourth of the season, matching his career total entering the campaign.


Sophomore Tommy Wynn (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) replaced LaCoste (2-1, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 BB) at the start of the sixth and senior David Adams led off with a base-hit into shallow center field. A grounder by junior Brandon Harvey pushed Adams into scoring position and a fielding error allowed McCall to reach base. Wynn stranded the runners by having Smith and Snell fly out.


Feltes reached on a throwing error to begin the seventh and Mitchell singled through the right side, ending the night for Wynn (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R). Welsh executed a sacrifice bunt off Edmondson to give UNCG runners on second and third and Deleo’s grounder narrowed the gap to 3-1. Soon after, sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) robbed Adams of a potential RBI single with a diving stab to end the frame.


In the bottom of the stanza, sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) punched a base-hit to left and senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded his third sacrifice bunt of the year against junior Ryan Clear. After an intentional walk to Leclerc, the right-hander fanned sophomore pinch hitter Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) and had Jeroloman ground out to hold his team’s deficit at two runs.


Florida had two runners aboard in the eighth but could not add any insurance. Dickey singled up the middle and was sacrificed to second by Gaski. McArthur reached on a throwing error, prompting a UNCG pitching change, as Dickey remained at second. Harvey came in from left field to the mound and junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) forced junior pinch runner David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) at second for out number two with a grounder. The reliever then caught Davis looking to escape the jam.


In the ninth, Mitchell roped a single with one down and Welsh drew a free pass from Edmondson. For the second-straight night, the righty had Deleo ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to end the contest.

Dickey finished 2-for-4 to pace the Orange and Blue, while Mitchell was 3-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to seven games for the visitors. McKinney was charged with the defeat after yielding four hits and two runs, with two walks and two strikeouts.


The Gators will conclude their 13-game stretch at McKethan Stadium by hosting defending Ivy League champion Harvard (0-0) in a weekend series. Senior RHP Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.) (2-2, 4.03 ERA) will start Friday’s opener at 6:30 p.m. versus Crimson freshman right-hander Adam Cole.   


Game Notes

  • J.K. LaCoste notched the first pickoff of his career in the second, making David Adams the victim.
  • The Gators won consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 19 & Feb. 22 (Miami and Florida A&M).
  • Gavin Dickey has 13 RBI this year, his total last season was 20.
  • Florida’s pitching staff registered a 0.50 earned run average against the Spartans, giving up one earned run in 18 innings.
  • Matt Gaski enjoyed two victories over his father Mike’s UNC Greensboro club.






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