A two-out single in the bottom of
the ninth by Kentucky senior Shaun Lehmann scored
junior Sean Coughlin with the decisive run as the 23rd-ranked Wildcats (24-7/6-4
SEC) defeated No. 19 Florida (19-15/3-7 SEC), 8-7, in the completion of Friday
night’s suspended game at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The teams had resumed action on
Saturday at 4 p.m. with UK
holding a 7-5 lead. The Gators rallied to tie the contest with a pair of runs
in the eighth before the hosts completed their second-straight walk-off win
with a base-hit off the wall in right center.
Sophomore Andrew Albers (2-1) threw
1.2 scoreless innings to pick up the victory, while senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
fell to 2-2 with his second-straight loss. Kentucky
ended a six-game overall losing streak to Florida and snapped a 14-game slide on its
own turf dating back to April 19, 1996. Game two of the series at 6:30 p.m. will
pit Gator sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.)
(6-2, 2.51) versus Kentucky
senior left-hander Craig Snipp (4-1, 2.10).
Kentucky jumped out to a 2-0 lead against senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.)
in the bottom of the first. After a marathon 15-pitch at bat to start things
off, sophomore Antone DeJesus
doubled to left field. Sophomore Collin Cowgill laid
down a bunt that Ball threw away, allowing DeJesus to
score and Cowgill to occupy second. Junior Billy
Grace advanced his teammate to third with a sacrifice bunt and junior Ryan Strieby punched an RBI double to right for a two-run
Florida cut the deficit in half with a run
in the second. Junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) reached on an error, junior David Cash (Odessa,
Fla.) singled into shallow right field and
sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.)
sliced a base-hit to left field to load the bases. A grounder to first by Chris Petrie (Jacksonville,
Fla.) brought across Leclerc
before senior Aaron Tennyson struck out junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.).
threatened in the sixth, as junior Matt LaPorta (Port
stroked a one-out single and Leclerc followed with a
four-pitch walk. Tennyson worked out of the jam with a strikeout of Cash and
had McArthur tap out to second.
drew a free pass to begin the bottom of the sixth and was sacrificed to second
by Coughlin. Petrie then made a running catch against the wall in left to rob
junior John Shelby of potential extra bases for the second out. After a wild
pitch from Ball enabled Strieby to take third, senior
Michael Bertram walked to give the Wildcats runners on the corners. A fielder’s
choice by Lehmann forced Bertram at second to keep
the margin at 2-1.
Florida exploded for four runs on five hits
and a Wildcat error to seize a 5-2 lead in the seventh. Petrie led off with a
single into left and the relay throw on Dickey’s bunt from Tennyson pulled Strieby off the bag, giving the Gators two runners aboard. Gaski laid down a sacrifice to move his teammates into
scoring position and junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
had an RBI grounder to even the game at 2-2. Junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) moved the visitors in front with a
base-hit up the middle and LaPorta launched a two-run
homer deep over the right-field wall for a three-run margin. It was the fifth
round-tripper of the year for the slugger and the sixth of his career against Kentucky. Leclerc connected on a single to end the evening for
Tennyson (6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 K, 2 BB) and Cash
greeted senior reliever Matt Robinson with another base-hit. The righty had McArthur fly out to center to close the stanza.
countered with five runs of their own in the home portion of the seventh to
grab a 7-5 lead. DeJesus smacked a one-out double and
Cowgill’s run-scoring safety into left center
prompted a pitching change as junior Steven
Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) replaced Ball. The senior
right-hander worked 6.1 innings, scattering seven hits and four runs (three
earned), with five strikeouts and three walks. Porter committed a balk to
advance Cowgill to second and Grace tied the game
with a two-run jack over the right-field fence, his fifth homer of the campaign.
Strieby walked and Coughlin roped a double into the
gap to score his teammate all the way from first with the go-ahead run.
Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) took
over for Porter (0 IP, 2 H, 3 R) and retired Shelby on a ground out before
yielding an RBI single to Bertram to give the ‘Cats a two-run lead. With
Edmondson holding a 0-2 count on Lehmann, a weather
delay began at 9:14 p.m. ET. Lehmann opened Saturday’s action with an infield hit and
sophomore Ryan Wilkes grounded out to end the inning.
clawed back in the eighth with two runs on three hits to even the score at
seven runs apiece. Sophomore Brock Baber took the hill for the Wildcats and yielded
back-to-back singles to Petrie and Dickey. Gaski’s
sacrifice attempt resulted in the bases loaded when Baber’s
throw to third was late. Davis
cranked a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 7-7 and Jeroloman laid down a sac bunt to move his teammates into
scoring position. Kentucky
elected to walk LaPorta intentionally to fill the
sacks and Baber was then lifted for Albers. The
reliever struck out Leclerc and had Cash ground out
to leave the bases full.
Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
replaced Edmondson (0.2 IP, 2 H) in the bottom of the eighth and issued a
one-out walk to Cowgill. With two down, Jeroloman caught the runner attempting to steal second.
Florida wasted a prime opportunity to seize
the lead in the ninth, stranding runners on second and third. McArthur started
things off with an infield hit but was erased at second on Petrie’s bunt.
Dickey poked a single through the right side for two runners aboard and Albers
committed a balk during junior Austin
Pride’s (Longwood, Fla.) at bat to advance the runners. The
reliever responded with a strikeout of the pinch hitter and induced an
inning-ending flyout by Davis.
rally in the ninth develop when Coughlin stroked a one-out single and went to
second on Shelby’s grounder to O’Day. Following an
intentional walk to Bertram, Lehmann cranked a 1-2
pitch off the wall to give the Wildcats the one-run win. Florida held a 14-13 advantage in hits, as
Cash went 3-for-5 and the quartet of Dickey, LaPorta,
McArthur and Petrie chipped in with two hits apiece. Five different Wildcats
contributed two hits to their winning effort.
- The last time Florida
had lost in Lexington
was on April 19, 1996, a 7-4 Wildcat triumph.
- The Gators have lost
five-straight road games and are 0-4 away from Gainesville in SEC play.
- This was UK head coach John Cohen’s
first victory over Pat McMahon in seven attempts.
- The 14 hits were the most for
the Gators since totaling a season-high 18 in a 17-6 win over Harvard on
- Florida fell to 12-1 when out-hitting its opponent this