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Tuesday April 11, 2006Four-Run Sixth Helps Baseball Stop Bethune-Cookman, 8-2

Gainesville, FL

Florida (21-16) scored seven unanswered runs, including four in the sixth inning, to hand Bethune-Cookman (18-21) an 8-2 defeat on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) (1-0) threw three scoreless innings to pick up his first victory since May 26 of last season as the Gators improved to 19-0 all-time against their Sunshine State rivals. UF’s bullpen worked six shutout innings, permitted two singles and was supported by an 11-hit offensive attack. Junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) was 2-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases.


“After Bethune-Cookman took the lead in the third, we answered the call and were able to manufacture runs,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “Hitting can be contagious, which I hope will be a positive for us. We are working hard to become a better offensive club that can consistently score runs. The guys practice hard every day and believe in one another. Baseball is a game of inches – we just need to have more hits fall our way.”


The Wildcats threatened in the second by putting a pair of runners on base against junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.) but did not score. Senior Nabil Sagbini reached on an infield hit to start things off and moved to second when senior Rob Caruso’s grounder was booted. Gawriluk worked out of trouble by having senior Colin Irvine hit into a double play and junior Spencer Hill ground out.


A two-out RBI single by Dickey off senior Raphael Kyles (3-5) in the second opened the scoring for the hosts. Petrie dumped a double just inside the left-field line and advanced to third on a fly ball to right by classmate David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) before Dickey’s base-knock up the middle resulted in a 1-0 count.


Bethune-Cookman seized a 2-1 lead in the third with two runs and three hits. Freshman Jose Ortiz walked with one down and junior Chris Henault followed with a single to center before Gawriluk retired freshman Alejandro Jimenez on a fly ball. Senior Jorge Mico extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single that scored Ortiz and Sagbini roped a double down the right-field line to move the Wildcats in front.   


Florida regained the advantage at 3-2 in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles by juniors Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) and Petrie. Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) had drawn a leadoff walk and stole his team-leading seventh base of the campaign before scoring on Jeroloman’s base-hit to right field. Kyles retired the next two Gators before sophomore Brandon McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.) hit into the hole moved Jeroloman over. Petrie’s second hit of the night brought across Jeroloman but McArthur was erased at second base, 7-6-5-4.    


Each starter worked three innings, as Gawriluk allowed five hits and a pair of runs with a season-high four strikeouts for Florida and Kyles gave up five hits and three runs with one K for B-CC. With two down in the sixth and a runner in scoring position, junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) made a sprawling catch in right field to rob Irvine of possible extra bases and prevent the Wildcats from tying the score.


Florida blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth with four runs, highlighted by a two-run triple from Cash. Leclerc earned a free pass and McArthur ripped a double into right center to put the Gators in business and Petrie punched an RBI single into right for a 4-2 lead. Cash stepped to the dish and ripped his first three-bagger of the year for a 6-2 margin to chase freshman reliever Joseph Gautier (2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R). Senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) lofted a sac fly to center, his first of the season, to provide the Gators with a five-run margin.


Davis finalized the scoring with an RBI single with two out in the eighth. Dickey was hit by a pitch for the 11th time by freshman Hiram Burgos and swiped second base. Davis sliced a 2-2 offering through the right side to extend his hitting streak to six games and build UF’s lead to 8-2.


Florida held an 11-7 advantage in hits, led by the trio of Petrie (3-for-4), Dickey (2-for-3) and McArthur (2-for-3). Sagbini’s two hits paced the Wildcats, who stranded nine runners on base. Following Gawriluk, Porter (3.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K), freshman Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) (0.1 IP), junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2.0 IP, 3 K, 2 H) and sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) (0.2 IP) combined to keep Bethune-Cookman off the board.  


Florida returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a pivotal series at Tennessee (19-13/3-8 SEC). Game times at Lindsey Nelson Stadium will be at 7 p.m. on Friday night, 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.


Game Notes

  • The Gators reached double-digits in hits for the fifth time in the past six games.
  • Tonight was Gavin Dickey’s team-leading 13th multiple-hit game.
  • Florida improved to 6-4 in mid-week games.
  • The Gators are now 16-10 at McKethan Stadium this year.
  • UF committed five errors, matching its season high set against Missouri on Feb. 24.






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