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Friday March 10, 2006No. 13 Baseball Handles Harvard, 12-6

Gainesville, FL

Sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) drove in a career-high four RBI and No. 13 Florida used a seven-run seventh inning to knock off Harvard, 12-6, in the teams’ series opener on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. Senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.) (3-2) went seven innings for the win, allowing four hits and three runs, as the Gators (12-6) notched their third-straight victory and spoiled the Crimson’s season debut.

 

The Gators grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning against freshman Adam Cole. Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) opened with a leadoff walk and senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) followed with his first double of the season to the right-field corner. A grounder by junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) scored Davis and McArthur’s grounder brought across Barton for the two-run advantage.

 

Senior Morgan Brown tied the game in the third with a two-run homer to left center off Ball. Sophomore Matt Vance had punched a one-out single up the middle for the Crimson’s first hit of the contest and Brown connected on the next pitch. Harvard seized a 3-2 lead in the fourth on senior Josh Klimkiewicz’s leadoff homer down the left-field line.    

 

The Crimson threatened again in the sixth, putting two runners aboard with one out as sophomore Steffan Wilson singled up the middle and Klimkiewicz walked. Ball worked out of the jam by having sophomore Tom Stack-Babich ground to McArthur, who stepped on third and then threw to junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) to complete the double play.

 

UF answered with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. Davis drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Barton. Leclerc picked up his second RBI of the game with a double to deep center field, ending the night for Cole. In his collegiate debut, the right-hander worked 5.1 innings, scattering two hits and allowing four runs. McArthur greeted junior reliever Jason Brown with a base-hit up the middle to give the Gators runners on second and third with one down. A grounder to second by junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) moved the home team ahead before Brown caught junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) looking on strikes to end the inning.  

 

The Gators erupted for seven runs with two outs in the seventh, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple by McArthur, to build an 11-3 lead. Florida sent 12 men to the plate and faced four different Crimson pitchers. Senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.) opened with a walk and advanced to third on a base-hit by Pride, who was thrown out on the play. Sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) was robbed on a diving stab by Harvard shortstop Morgan Brown and Davis followed with a four-pitch walk from senior Mike Dukovich. The reliever uncorked a wild pitch to allow Woods to score the fifth run and issued consecutive free passes to Barton and Leclerc to load the bases. McArthur cleared the bags with a triple off junior Jake Bruton and Jeroloman laced an RBI single to drive in his teammate. Jeroloman moved to second on a passed ball and Dickey and Woods each walked to fill the sacks. Pride ripped a two-run single off sophomore Taylor Meehan for an eight-run margin and Gaski walked to load the bases again before Davis flew out to center to end the 43-minute inning.

 

Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) replaced Ball prior to the eighth and Harvard answered with three-straight one-out hits by Morgan Brown, senior Lance Salsgiver and Wilson to load the bases. Klimkiewicz lofted a sacrifice fly to center for an 11-4 count. The Gators answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by junior pinch hitter David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) that scored freshman Cody Neer (Orlando, Fla.), who had reached on an error.    

 

Helped by a pair of Gator fielding mistakes in the ninth, Harvard scored twice to finalize the score at 12-6. The Crimson out-hit UF, 9-7, as Morgan Brown was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI and Vance was 2-for-5 with two runs from the leadoff spot. For the Gators, McArthur and Pride were each 2-for-4, while Davis scored three runs. Hurst allowed three hits and struck out one batter in one inning, with redshirt freshman Matt Hightower (Cartersville, Ga.) giving up two hits and a pair of unearned runs with two K in the ninth.

 

Game Notes

  • Matt LaPorta missed his 10th straight game with an oblique strain.
  • Tonight was the first-ever meeting on the diamond between the Gators and Crimson.  
  • Brandon McArthur’s previous high of three RBI came against Alabama on April 17, 2005.
  • The seven runs in the seventh were the most in any inning for Florida this season.

 

-UF-

 

 

 

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