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Sunday March 12, 2006No. 13 Baseball Completes Sweep of Harvard, 17-6

Gainesville, FL

13th-ranked Florida extended its winning streak to a season-high five games on Sunday afternoon with a 17-6 triumph over Harvard at McKethan Stadium. The Gators (14-6) used a seven-run fifth and pounded out a season-high 18 hits, including seven doubles, to complete a three-game sweep of the Crimson (0-3). Eight of UF’s nine position starters chipped in with at least one hit, while sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) (3-for-5) and junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) drove in four runs apiece.


Florida batted .373 (38-for-102) on the weekend, with 39 runs, 24 walks, 11 doubles and seven hit-by-pitches. The trio of junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) (3-for-4, four runs, two RBI), junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) (3-for-5, three RBI), and senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-5, three RBI, three runs) led the way as the Gators notched back-to-back double-digit hit outputs for the first time all season.  


Florida jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. Davis led off with a walk and reached third on a throwing error by senior pitcher Javier Castellanos. Barton roped his second double of the season to right center to open the scoring and Leclerc earned a free pass. A fielder’s choice by McArthur forced Leclerc at second but pushed Barton to third. A bunt single up the third-base line by junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) brought across the second run.


Harvard cut UF’s lead in half in the second on an RBI triple by freshman Matt Rogers. Junior Brendan Bryne had doubled to left with one down off junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.) (3.0 IP, six hits, three runs) and Rogers delivered a three-bagger to the right-field corner to score his teammate. A two-out single by Davis in the bottom of the inning scored junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), who had led off with a base-hit, for a 3-1 Gator lead.


The Crimson evened the game with a two-out rally in the third in which they produced two runs. Senior Lance Salsgiver doubled down the left-field line and sophomore Steffan Wilson followed with another two-bagger into left to narrow the gap to 3-2. A single up the middle by senior Josh Klimkiewicz knotted the contest at 3-3.


The Gators countered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to seize a 7-3 advantage. Petrie started things off with a double and took third on a flyout by junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.). Sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch and then Davis earned a free pass to fill the sacks. Castellanos rebounded to strike out Barton, only to have Leclerc stroke a two-run double to move Florida in front. McArthur greeted senior reliever Matt Brunnig with a two-run single through the left side for a four-run cushion. Castellanos (0-1) worked 3.2 innings, surrendering eight hits and seven runs, with four walks and two strikeouts.  


Harvard added an unearned run in the fifth when Salsgiver scored all the way from first on an errant pickoff throw by junior reliever Patrick Thompson (Gainesville, Fla.). Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) had worked a scoreless fourth in which he allowed two hits and collected his first victory as a Gator.  


UF answered with seven runs on six hits and a walk, all with two out, in the home portion of the fifth for a 14-4 margin. Gaski and Dickey roped back-to-back doubles off Brunnig and Barton connected on an RBI single. After Barton stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, Leclerc delivered a run-scoring base-knock through the right side of the infield. A throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff try resulted in Leclerc winding up on third and McArthur’s first double of the season gave Florida an 11-4 lead and chased Brunnig (1.0 IP, six hits, five runs). Jeroloman drew a walk from senior Mike Dukovich and Pride jacked a three-run bomb to left center for a 10-run margin. The homer was his second of the season.  


The hosts tacked on three more runs on three hits and HBP in the sixth. Freshman pinch hitter Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) opened the frame with an infield hit and Davis’ second double of the game pushed his teammate over to third. Barton’s ground ball scored Barnes and a two-out single by McArthur gave the sophomore four RBI for the second time in the series. Jeroloman walked to load the bases, prompting another Harvard pitching change, as Brown came in from shortstop to the mound. The hurler plunked Pride to plate Barton with the 17th run.   


The Crimson scored two unearned runs in the eighth off junior reliever Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) (1.0 IP, one hit) to finalize the 17-6 margin. Senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) had worked two scoreless innings, with two K and two hits before Porter and sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) kept Harvard off the board in the ninth to end the game. The Gators will travel to Orlando for a meeting with UCF on Tuesday night before opening Southeastern Conference play against Arkansas on Friday night.


Game Notes

  • Florida improved to 11-6 at McKethan Stadium this season.
  • Matt LaPorta missed his 12th consecutive game with a strained oblique muscle.
  • The seven doubles were the most for the Gators since May 7, 2002, against South Florida.
  • The 17 runs were the second-highest total this season for UF, behind 20 in a 20-4 win over Cincinnati on Feb. 12.






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