Kentucky (25-8/7-5 SEC) scored the game’s first seven runs on its way to an 8-6
victory over No. 19 Florida (20-16/4-8 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan
Stadium. The triumph enabled the Wildcats to claim their first series victory
over the Gators since April 16-18, 1999 at McKethan Stadium.
UK had not taken a set from
UF in Lexington
since winning two of three games from April 22-24, 1994.
Greg Dombrowski (6-1) worked 7.2 innings, giving up
seven hits and five runs, although only two were earned for the SEC’s ERA
leader. Sophomore Brock Baber collected his fourth
save after working out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and allowing a run
in the ninth. The Wildcats belted four home runs, matching the most surrendered
by the Gators this season. A bright spot for Florida
was that junior Matt LaPorta
(2-for-5, two RBI) homered for the third-straight
game, tying him for the team lead with seven round-trippers.
Wildcats shot out of the gates with four runs on three hits in the first
against freshman Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.).
Sophomore Antone DeJesus
led off with a single to right field and sophomore Collin Cowgill
reached on a fielding error before a double from junior Sean Coughlin drove in
his teammates. Junior Ryan Strieby clubbed a 2-2 pitch
from Spottswood over the right-field wall to give the
hosts a 4-0 lead. The round-tripper was his eighth of the season and enabled Kentucky to match its
highest output in the opening frame this year.
connected on his eighth dinger with two down in the second for a 6-0 advantage.
Spottswood retired the first two Wildcats before
committing a fielding error on DeJesus’ bunt. Cowgill stepped to the plate and jacked a 3-1 offering to
left center to end the afternoon for Spottswood
(1-1), who allowed four hits and six runs (three earned) with two strikeouts over
1.2 innings. Coughlin greeted senior Darren
O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
with his second double before the reliever had Strieby
Senior Stephen Barton (Miami,
Fla.) was hit by a pitch to start the
third and was sacrificed to second by sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.).
After junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
drew a walk from Dombrowski, the righty
had junior Brian Jeroloman
(Wellington, Fla.) ground out to short.
Although Florida had runners on
the corners with one down in the fifth, it could not push a run across against Dombrowski. Junior Chris
Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) walked on four pitches to begin
the stanza and moved to second on Barton’s grounder. Following a base-hit into
left by junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee,
first of the afternoon, the righty induced an
inning-ending 1-4-3 double play. Senior Michael Bertram launched a solo shot in
the bottom of the inning off O’Day for a 7-0 margin.
scored three runs on three hits in the sixth to close the gap to 7-3. Davis and
Jeroloman poked back-to-back singles and an RBI
single by LaPorta brought across Davis
initial run. A throwing error on the play allowed LaPorta
and Jeroloman to occupy second and third,
respectively, and consecutive grounders by junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
and sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.)
reduced the Wildcats’ lead to four runs.
Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
replaced O’Day with two down in the sixth after his
teammate had logged a season-high four innings, with five hits, three K, two
walks and a run.
Florida clawed back further in the eighth with two runs on four
hits and a UK
error for a 7-5 count. Jeroloman led off with a
single into shallow left field, Leclerc punched a
one-out single and McArthur’s grounder was misplayed to load the bases. A
fielder’s choice by Petrie scored Jeroloman but
forced McArthur at second for out number two. An RBI single up the middle from
Barton brought the Gators within 7-5 and prompted a pitching change, as Baber came out of the bullpen for Dombrowski
(7.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER). Dickey’s liner eluded the second baseman to fill the
sacks but the hurler had Cash fly out to left to preserve his club’s two-run
opened the bottom of the inning with his fifth homer, a ball that landed inches
above the wall in left center for an 8-5 cushion. Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
replaced Hurst (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and recorded the final two outs for the
Gators. LaPorta finalized the margin with a one-out
bomb in the ninth. UK
held an 11-9 advantage in hits, as the top four hitters in the lineup were a
combined 8-for-17 with six RBI and six runs. Dickey, Jeroloman
and LaPorta had two hits apiece for the Gators.
Florida returns home to McKethan
Stadium on Tuesday night to face Bethune-Cookman at
6:30 p.m. The Gators and Wildcats have not met on the diamond since May 31,
2003, when UF notched an 8-6 victory at the NCAA Coral Gables Regional. The Orange and Blue have
claimed all 18 meetings between the squads.
- The Gators fell to 1-5 in SEC
road games and are now 5-6 away from Gainesville
- Chas Spottswood
made the second league start of the season, he received a no-decision on
March 19 against Arkansas
(0.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER).
- Florida has not posted consecutive
wins since March 14 (10-3 at UCF) and March 17 (6-3 over Arkansas).
- Pat McMahon is now 12-3 as a
head coach for UF against Kentucky.
- Adam Davis and Gavin Dickey
each extended his hitting streak to five games.