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Sunday April 16, 2006Offensive Outburst Carries Baseball Over Tennessee, 15-4

Knoxville, TN

Florida (22-18/5-10 SEC) erupted for a season-high 20 hits, including at least one by every starter, to salvage the finale of its weekend series at Tennessee (21-15/5-9 SEC) with a 15-4 victory at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Easter Sunday. The Gators snapped a three-game slide in league play by scoring in six different innings, highlighted by a seven-run rally with two down in the seventh to break open an 8-4 game.

 

Seven Florida players contributed multiple-hit efforts, including three-hit performances by junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) (3-for-5, four RBI, three runs), junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) (3-for-5, two runs, one RBI), junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) (3-for-5, two runs, one RBI) and sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) (3-for-5, one RBI).

 

Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) improved to 4-0 by allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings in relief of freshman starter Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) (3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) threw 2.2 scoreless and hitless innings to nail down the win.

 

The Gators scored first for the third-straight time in the series with a single tally in the opening frame. Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff double against freshman Josh Lindblom (4-3) and scored on LaPorta’s one-out single into center field.

 

UF tacked on four more runs on four hits in the third to build a 5-0 advantage. Jeroloman opened with a leadoff single through the right side and LaPorta smacked his first double of the season before junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) lofted a sacrifice fly to center. Petrie sliced an RBI single into left to score LaPorta and took second on a wild pitch. Junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) stepped to the dish and jacked his team-leading eighth homer of the year over the right-field wall for the five-run lead. The round-tripper raised Dickey’s hitting streak to nine games and was his first dinger since March 25 at South Carolina.

 

Tennessee countered in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs on two hits and two errors against Spottswood for a 5-2 deficit. Freshman Cody Brown reached on a throwing error to start things off and was sacrificed to second by classmate Jarred Frazier. A groundout by sophomore Julio Borbon pushed Brown to third and Spottswood issued a walk to freshman Tony Delmonico. Senior Chris Kemp poked a single to right that drove in Brown and Delmonico scored all the way from first on another Gator miscue. After an infield hit by sophomore J.P. Arencibia, Spottswood had freshman Ryan Jones line out to short.

 

Lindblom was lifted prior to the fourth after being tagged for eight hits and five runs over three innings and the Gators added another run off sophomore Ty Pryor. The reliever issued a one-out walk to Davis and committed a throwing error on Jeroloman’s infield hit, allowing Davis to come across with the sixth run. LaPorta ripped his season-high third hit of the afternoon to move Jeroloman into scoring position before Pryor retired Leclerc and Petrie.

 

Florida moved in front by a 7-2 count in the fifth. Junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) punched a single into left with one down and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) drew a free pass with two outs before Davis sent a high chopper to third base. Davis beat the throw to first and Cash was safe at home on the ensuing relay throw. Pryor then walked Jeroloman to fill the sacks and was replaced by sophomore Chase Hardin. The move paid off when the right-hander induced a fly out by LaPorta to leaves the bags juiced. 

 

In the sixth, Dickey’s first sacrifice fly of the campaign brought home Petrie for an 8-2 cushion. Petrie had singled to center with one down, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Arencibia. Arencibia led off the home portion of the frame with his seventh homer off Edmondson. Jones followed with a single to left and Edmundson reached on an error for runners on the corners with none out. Senior Michael Rivera grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that scored Jones for an 8-4 margin. 

 

The Gators exploded for seven runs with two out in the seventh to balloon their lead to 15-4. Barber started the stanza with a single through the right side but was erased on Gaski’s fielder’s choice. After Davis flew out, Gaski notched his second stolen base of the season. Jeroloman drove in his teammate with an RBI double and the Vols elected to walk LaPorta intentionally. The move backfired when Leclerc stroked a run-scoring single into left center, ending the afternoon for Hardin (2.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER). Petrie greeted junior Sean Watson with his second homer into the left-field bleachers for a 13-4 advantage. Dickey followed with a bloop double into shallow center field and Cash walked before back-to-back RBI singles by Barber and Gaski completed the scoring at 15-4.

 

Florida held a commanding 20-6 edge in hits, as Davis (2-for-5, two runs), Dickey (2-for-5, three RBI, two runs) and Cash (2-for-5, two runs) also had multi-hit outings. Arencibia went 2-for-4 to lead the Vols. The Gators will visit No. 2 Florida State (33-5/13-4 ACC entering Sunday) on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in their final midweek game of the season. The contest will be carried live from Dick Howser Stadium on Sun Sports. The Seminoles posted a 6-4 victory in the first meeting at McKethan Stadium on Feb. 28.

 

Game Notes

  • Florida’s 20 hits were its most since totaling 21 in the 23-3 victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final on June 5, 2005.
  • The Gators are now 5-10 at the halfway point of the SEC regular season.
  • UF is now 2-3 on Sundays in league action.
  • Adam Davis and Gavin Dickey now boast nine-game hitting streaks.
  • The seven runs in the seventh marked the third time this season Florida scored seven in a frame.

 

-UF-

 

 

 

 

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