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Saturday April 22, 2006Augenstein Collects Eighth Win As Baseball Evens Series With Auburn, 4-1

Gainesville, FL

Junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the sixth and sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.) worked seven strong innings as Florida (24-19/6-11 SEC) downed Auburn (19-23/7-10 SEC), 4-1, on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. After the Tigers clawed within 2-1 in the eighth, the home team responded with a pair of insurance runs to even the series. Junior right-hander Chris Dennis (2-3, 5.95) will pitch Sunday’s rubber game for the Tigers against a UF pitcher to be determined.


“Bryan (Augenstein) competed very well today,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “He found a way to throw quality pitches when he needed to, and it shows how he has grown as a pitcher. This club has faced adversity in a lot of ways, and they keep finding a way to get it done in the end.”


Augenstein (8-3) raised his record to 5-2 following a Gator defeat by limiting Auburn to three hits and one run before senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) recorded the final six outs for his seventh save in eight opportunities. Freshman Evan Crawford (4-5) was the hard-luck loser despite permitting four hits and two runs over seven innings.


Helped by a diving stab in right field by junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.), the Gators weathered an Auburn threat in the third. Senior Tyler Johnstone stroked a one-out single up the middle and senior Jeff Boutwell followed with a walk. After Augenstein answered with strikeout of freshman Mike Bianucci, junior Andy Bennett sent a liner to right that Leclerc made a sliding catch to prevent the runners from scoring.    


LaPorta opened the scoring with one down in the sixth when he cranked his ninth homer of the campaign to left center. Junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) had drawn a one-out walk and moved to second on a passed ball. LaPorta then sent Crawford’s 1-0 offering out of the yard for the 49th round-tripper of his career and his fourth against the Tigers. Before the homer, Crawford had not surrendered a hit since the first stanza.


Sophomore Josh Stapleton deposited his third double of the season just inside the left-field line to start the eighth, ending the afternoon for Augenstein. The right-hander worked at least seven frames for the 10th time in 11 starts this season. Augenstein notched six K, walked three batters and was charged with one run. O’Day retired Johnstone and freshman pinch hitter Ben Jones on consecutive fly outs before Bianucci trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with a flare into shallow right field just beyond sophomore Matt Gaski’s (Greensboro, N.C.) reach. Bennett singled into left for a pair of Tigers aboard and O’Day jammed sophomore Josh Donaldson on a foul pop-up to LaPorta to keep the hosts in front.


The Gators added two runs on three hits in the home portion of the inning to seize a 4-1 advantage. Jeroloman earned a free pass from junior Peter Wiggins, who took over for Crawford (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 6 K, 3 BB) at the beginning of the inning, and a single by LaPorta gave UF two runners on base. Cash doubled to the left-field wall to score Jeroloman and Petrie poked an RBI single to plate LaPorta with the fourth run.


Each squad totaled seven hits apiece. LaPorta was 2-for-3 with two runs and a couple of RBI and Cash went 2-for-4 for the Gators, while freshman Luke Greinke was 2-for-4 to lead AU.   


Game Notes

  • Florida improved to 8-3 this season on Saturdays and an even 3-3 during Bryan Augenstein’s SEC starts.
  • Of Matt LaPorta’s 49 career homers, 13 have been two-run jacks.
  • David Cash’s two hits gave him 10 multiple-hit outings this season.
  • Gavin Dickey was not in the lineup this afternoon.






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