7-0, No. 13 Florida (17-7/2-1 SEC) rallied for five runs in the seventh and
junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth to lift the Gators to a wild
8-7 victory over No. 7 Arkansas (17-3/1-2 SEC) in the rubber game of the
weekend series at McKethan Stadium on Sunday
afternoon. UF managed just six hits through the first six innings against
senior Charley Boyce before erupting for eight runs on seven hits in its final
two at bats. Senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville,
Fla.) (2-0) threw two scoreless
innings to secure his club’s eighth win in the last nine games.
“I am really proud of our guys and their effort,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “One of the great things
about sports is that teams need to play pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning. Our
bullpen put us in a position to win and this victory shows the strength our
character within our club. Adam (Davis)
is as clutch a player as there is in this game.”
Arkansas sent nine men to the plate and tagged
freshman Chas Spottswood
(Key West, Fla.) for five runs on four hits in the
opening frame. Senior Craig Gentry and sophomore Clint Arnold opened the game
with consecutive base-hits before junior Danny Hamblin’s sacrifice attempt was
mishandled by Spottswood, loading the bases. The
right-hander hit sophomore Brian Walker to bring across Gentry with the initial
run and freshman James Ewing lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Arnold. Freshman David Hum
sliced an RBI single through the right side to drive in Hamblin and an errant
pickoff throw by Spottswood resulted in runners on
second and third. An RBI single by junior Jake Dugger
made the score 4-0 and ended the afternoon for Spottswood
(0.1 IP). Junior Blake Parker’s grounder off sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange,
Ga.) enabled Hum to come
across before the reliever struck out freshman Matt Willard.
A sacrifice fly by Hamblin in the second gave the Hogs a 6-0 lead. Gentry had
smacked a leadoff double, his third two-bagger of the weekend, and advanced on
a grounder by Arnold.
Hamblin’s fly ball to right resulted in a six-run deficit for Florida.
In the bottom of the inning, UF loaded the bases with one out against Boyce but
came away empty-handed. Freshman Avery
Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) opened with a single, junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.)
punched a one-out base-hit up the middle and junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to fill the sacks.
However, Boyce had sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro,
N.C.) ground into an
inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Edmondson matched a career-high with 3.2 innings of work, allowing three hits
and a run. In his team-leading 14th appearance, the righty
had two strikeouts and a walk. Junior David
Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
worked a career-high 2.1 innings before junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.)
entered the ballgame with Hamblin on third and one down in the sixth. After
issuing a walk to Ewing, Gawriluk was replaced by redshirt freshman MattHightower (Cartersville, Ga.).
Freshman pinch hitter Wayne Hrozek’s grounder to
shortstop scored Hamblin to increase the margin to 7-0. Hurst gave up two hits and one run during his
stint, while Hightower went two-thirds of an inning.
Florida tallied four runs on four hits and two
errors in the bottom of the seventh to narrow the gap to 7-5. Petrie reached on
an error to start things off and junior David
Cash (Odessa, Fla.) followed with a pinch hit into
shallow right field. Sophomore Bryson
Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) stroked an RBI single down the right-field line to
put the Gators on the board and end the afternoon for Boyce (6.0 IP, 8H, 3R,
1ER, 2K). Davis greeted junior reliever James
Gilbert with a sac fly to left to score Cash and junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
punched a single into left field for two runners aboard. Gilbert retired junior
Fla.) on a flyout before a throwing error on Barnes’ grounder allowed
Barber to come across. Senior Devin Collis took over for Gilbert and yielded an
RBI single to junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater,
Fla.) to make the score 7-4
and a passed ball reduced the Gators’ deficit to two runs. Collis jammed junior
pinch hitter Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
on a foul pop-up to end the inning.
Willard singled off the third-base bag with one down in the eighth, stole
second and reached third when Jeroloman’s relay throw
went into the outfield. O’Day came through with a
strikeout of Gentry and had Arnold
ground out to strand the runner.
Petrie led off UF’s eighth with a base-hit to center
and Cash followed with a single, prompting a Razorback pitching change. Junior
Brian McLelland (2-1) came out of the bullpen and
Barber laid down a sac bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Davis cranked a three-run
blast off the scoreboard overlooking right field on a 2-1 pitch to move the
Gators in front for the first time.
O’Day retired the first two Arkansas
hitters in the ninth before Ewing punched a
single into center to extend the inning. The right-hander induced a fly out to
center by Hrozek to secure the win. Florida
out-hit the Razorbacks, 13-11, as the quartet of Barber (2-for-2), Barnes
(2-for-4), Cash (2-for-2, two runs) and Davis
(2-for-4, four RBI) had multiple-hit outings. Gentry went 3-for-4 with two runs
out of the leadoff spot for UA.
The Gators will resume action on Tuesday night when they host Stetson
(10-12/2-4 A-Sun) at 6:30 p.m. UF claimed both of its meetings with the Hatters
last season, including an 8-3 win in the NCAA Gainesville Regional.
The five first-inning runs were
the most the Gators have surrendered in the first inning this year and
matched the most in any inning in 2006, as Missouri had five in the second inning
on Feb. 24.
Avery Barnes had his first
career double in the fourth.
Adam Davis’ last home run
before this afternoon was on Feb. 25 against OhioState.
The Gators are now 12-0 when
they have more hits than the opponent.
Today was the first time Florida has come
back to win trailing after seven innings, the squad had been 0-7.