Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs to lift No. 15 Florida (18-11) to a 6-5
victory over USF (14-12) on Wednesday night at McKethan
Stadium. The win ended a four-game losing skid for the Gators, who used a
two-run single by Davis
in the fourth to move in front to stay. Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) earned the win to raise his mark to 3-0, while
senior Darren O’Day
(Jacksonville, Fla.) pitched 2.2 innings to collect his
“We found a
way to get it done today against a very good South Florida
club,” said head baseball coach Pat
McMahon. “A lot of times, with what we’ve been through, we could have
folded, but we stuck with it. We got the bat into the hands of the guys who
want the bat in their hands, and the guys we count on to make the big plays.”
answered calls tonight,” McMahon continued. “By that I mean when the other team
scored, so did we. Good ball clubs do that, and we are trying to become a good
ball club. This game was a good sign for our offense since we had a couple of
clutch two-out hits. Although we have to be more disciplined at the plate with
pitch selections, overall I saw good things from the offense this evening.”
Davis put the Gators on the board in the
opening frame with a home run over the right-field fence. It was his fifth
round-tripper of the season and came off junior Yuri Higgins with one down.
the bases with none out in the third and pushed across just one run for a 2-0
lead. Sophomore Matt Gaski
led off with a base-hit into left, junior Gavin
Fla.) was hit for the 10th time on the
campaign and Davis
walked to fill the sacks. Junior Matt
LaPorta (Port Charlotte,
Fla.) was plunked to bring across a run before
Higgins rebounded with strikeouts of juniors David Cash (Odessa, Fla.)
and Brian Leclerc
and had junior Chris Petrie
(Jacksonville, Fla.) force LaPorta at third with
a grounder for the final out.
countered in the fourth with three runs on three hits to take a 3-2 lead. Freshman
Addison Maruszak and senior Kris Howell began the
frame with consecutive singles to end the night for junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.).
The right-hander worked three innings and was charged with two runs on four
hits. Senior Matt McHargue greeted redshirt freshman reliever Matt Hightower (Cartersville, Ga.) with an RBI double to deep
center field to drive in the first run and Howell scored on a wild pitch when
Hightower’s strikeout of sophomore Brandin Daniel got
past junior catcher Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.). A fielder’s choice by
sophomore Joey Angelberger against Edmondson scored McHargue with an unearned run to put the visitors ahead.
Jim Cassidy took over for Higgins (3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP) in the fourth and retired the first two Gator hitters
before the home team rallied. Gaski legged out an
infield hit and Dickey followed with a sharp single past the first baseman,
with a throwing error on the relay giving Florida runners on second and third. Davis punched a two-run
single into right to move the hosts back on top, 4-3. Cassidy (2-1) was charged
with the defeat after giving up four hits and three runs (two earned) over two
Freshman Braulio Pardo and junior Ty Taborelli had back-to-back
singles top open the fifth for USF and were sacrificed into scoring position by
Maruszak. Edmondson fanned Howell for the second out
and was replaced by junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.),
who caught McHargue looking on strikes to strand the
runners and preserve the one-run lead.
led off the home portion of the fifth with his second homer of the year, a shot
to right center, to give the Gators a 5-3 advantage. Daniel started the Bulls’
sixth with a walk and sophomore Dexter Butler poked a one-out single. Hurst worked out of the
jam by inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play on a ball hit by junior Nick
connected on a leadoff double in the seventh for USF and was sacrificed to
third by Taborelli. Senior O’Day
took over for Hurst (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 K) and permitted a sac fly in foul
territory by Maruszak that narrowed the gap to 5-4.
Howell sliced a single into right field and McHargue
punched another safety to give the Bulls runners on the corners before O’Day retired Daniel on a grounder to keep the Gators
singled with one down in the bottom of the seventh, prompting a pitching
change. Senior Matt Ingram came in and walked Leclerc
on four pitches for two Gators aboard and was replaced by junior Nick Manganaro. Junior pinch hitter Austin Pride (Longwood,
Fla.) forced Leclerc at second but pushed Cash to third with a grounder
and Jeroloman followed with a two-out RBI single for
a 6-4 margin.
Butler stroked a one-out single in the
eighth and freshman pinch hitter Gus Fernandez reached on a throwing error
before Pardo laid down a sacrifice bunt to put two
USF runners in scoring position. O’Day issued an
intentional walk to Taborelli to fill the bases and the
move paid off when the righty had Maruszak
ground out to LaPorta to end the frame.
out an infield hit to open the ninth and took second on the play on O’Day’s throwing error. The reliever answered with a
strikeout of McHargue before Daniel ripped an RBI
single up the middle to pull USF within 6-5. It was the first run allowed by O’Day since Feb. 26, a span of eight appearances and 19.1
innings. The righty had Angelberger
fly out to right and Butler
singled for a pair of runners aboard. O’Day struck
out senior pinch hitter Brian Baisley to end the
USF held a
15-8 advantage in hits, as Butler,
Howell and McHargue were each 3-for-5. Davis and Gaski contributed two hits apiece for the Gators. The
Orange and Blue resume Southeastern Conference play on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when
they will begin a weekend series against No. 17 Vanderbilt (17-8/5-1 SEC).
Saturday’s game will be at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will be at 1 p.m.
- The Gators are now 14-2 when
they score first and 7-2 when they score in the first inning.
- Florida turned two double plays, giving it 35 on the
- UF was hit three more times
tonight, putting the club into a tie for ninth on the single-season chart
with 47 HBP.
- Florida has now produced a homer in three-straight
games for the fourth time this season.
- Darren O’Day
has converted all five of his save opportunities.
- David Cash extended his hitting
streak to a season-high six games.
- Adam Davis leads the Gators in
multiple-hit games (9) and multiple-RBI games (8).