Georgia (27-16/9-11 SEC) clinched its
weekend series at Florida
(24-22/6-14 SEC) on Saturday afternoon with a 9-3 victory at McKethan Stadium. The Bulldogs plated four runs in the
opening frame and built a 6-0 lead before UF got on the board with a three-run
homer in the fifth by junior Matt LaPorta (Port
Charlotte, Fla.). Senior Rip Warren (6-2) threw 4.1 no-hit innings to pick
up the victory, while five players turned in multiple-hit outings as part of UGA’s 15-hit offensive attack. Freshman right-hander Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) (1-2, 7.52) will
take the ball in tomorrow’s finale at 1 p.m. on Sun Sports for the Gators
against freshman Jason Leaver (1-1, 4.26).
“We have approached each game as
another challenge to battle through and persevere,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “It is the little things,
like the structural aspects of the game, which are correctable. I am proud of
Bryan (Augenstein) and the way he has emerged this
year. He has been a tremendous asset to us.”
Georgia raced out to a 4-0 lead in the
first on four hits and an error against sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.). Junior Jonathan Wyatt drew a
leadoff walk, junior Joey Side singled up the middle
and sophomore Gordon Beckham reached on a fielding miscue to load the bases. After
Wyatt was forced at home on junior Josh Morris’ fielder’s choice, senior Bobby Felmy delivered a base-hit through the right side to open
the scoring. A grounder to short by Jason Jacobs brought across Beckham and
sophomore Matt Olson roped a two-run single to right field for a four-run
margin. The ninth batter of the inning, sophomore Ryan Peisel,
lofted a single into shallow left but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit
into a double.
The Gators threatened in the second
but could push anything across against junior right-hander Brooks Brown. Junior
and junior David Cash (Odessa,
Fla.) opened the frame with consecutive singles and were sacrificed into scoring
position by junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington,
Fla.). Brown responded with a
strikeout of sophomore Bryson Barber
Fla.) and had junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville,
Fla.) ground out.
Morris blasted his team-leading 16th
homer into the left-field bleachers with one down in the third to provide the Dawgs with a 5-0 lead. One inning later, Georgia extended its lead to 6-0 on
a sacrifice fly by Wyatt that scored Peisel, who had
poked a one-out single into center field.
Augenstein (8-4) allowed seven hits and six
runs (three earned) over four innings, his shortest stint of the season. The
right-hander had three strikeouts and issued a pair of walks. Sophomore
reliever Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
permitted a one-out single to Morris, walked Felmy and gave up a base-knock to Jacobs to fill the sacks.
The sidearm specialist worked out of the jam by inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3
The Gators pulled to within 6-3 in
the bottom of the fifth on LaPorta’s 11th homer, a three-run bomb onto the
roof of the batting cage. Sophomore Brandon
McArthur (Seffner, Fla.)
opened the inning with a single into left but was forced at second on junior Adam Davis’ (Fort Myers, Fla.)
fielder’s choice. After senior Stephen
Barton (Miami, Fla.) reached on a UGA error, LaPorta cranked a 1-0 offering from Brown out of the yard
for the 51st round-tripper of his career. With two down, Cash singled and Jeroloman walked before Barber was plunked to fill the
bases and prompt a pitching change. Warren
took over for Brown (4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER) and had
Petrie fly out to leave the sacks full.
Morris reached on a fielding error
to begin the eighth, ending Edmondson’s time on the hill. The righty threw two scoreless frames in which he allowed four
hits. Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
had Felmy ground into a 6-4-3 double play and Jacobs
ground out to second to hold the Gators’ deficit at three runs.
The Bulldogs added another run in
the eighth to seize a 7-3 advantage. Senior pinch hitter Kyle Keen walked to
start things off and Peisel singled before senior
Matthew Dunn laid down a sacrifice bunt for runners on second and third. Wyatt
followed with a sac fly into right to score Keen and bring senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
out of the bullpen. O’Day’s 110th career appearance
began with a fly out to left by Side.
Georgia tacked on a couple more insurance
runs with two down in the ninth on a two-run single by Keen. Felmy had jump-started the two-out outburst with a single
through the right side and Jacobs doubled to left center. Keen boosted the
Bulldogs’ lead to six runs by poking O’Day’s 2-2
pitch into right field. The visitors out-hit the Gators, 15-6, led by Peisel’s 3-for-5 effort. Cash went 2-for-3 for Florida, raising his
average to .400 in SEC play.
- Florida has dropped its last six SEC
series and is now 3-11 against the Eastern Division.
- Bryan Augenstein had
worked at least seven innings in 10 of his 11 previous starts.
- Matt LaPorta now has
three homers in his career versus Georgia.
- Florida fell to 17-14 at McKethan Stadium this year.