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Sunday April 30, 2006Baseball Falls Short Against Georgia, 9-6

Gainesville, FL

Buoyed by an eight-run third inning, Georgia (28-16/10-11 SEC) completed a weekend sweep of Florida (24-23/6-15 SEC) on Sunday afternoon with a 9-6 victory at McKethan Stadium. Senior Jason Jacobs went 3-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI, while junior Josh Morris (3-for-5, two runs, one RBI) and junior Jonathan Wyatt (3-for-4, one runs) also enjoyed productive afternoons for UGA. Freshman Nathan Moreau (5-1) threw two scoreless innings to collect the win and sophomore Joshua Fields tossed two scoreless innings for his eighth save.

 

The Bulldogs have claimed their last seven games in Gainesville and have swept the last two series in the Sunshine State. Junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) blasted a three-run homer and junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) (3-for-4) contributed a three-run double for the Gators.

 

Georgia deserves a lot of credit,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “They came out swinging the bats well and forced us to play catch up. Although we gave ourselves opportunities, we must find a way to cash in. It’s not about improving in one area of the game for us, we need to continue to develop and work hard in all areas to be successful.” 

 

After Jacobs roped a one-out double down the left-field line in the second, freshman Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) responded with a strikeout of sophomore Matt Olson and had sophomore Ryan Peisel line out to first base.

 

The Bulldogs opened the scoring for the third-straight game by sending 13 batters to the plate in the third, resulting in an eight-run explosion on six hits and four walks. Senior Matthew Dunn led off with single to right and Wyatt singled up the middle before junior Joey Side sacrificed his teammates into scoring position. A free pass to freshman Gordon Beckman loaded the bases and Morris stroked an RBI single through the left side to break the ice. Senior Bobby Felmy walked to bring across Wyatt and end the afternoon for Spottswood. The rookie right-hander (1-3) was charged with five hits and five runs over 2.1 innings, with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.

 

Jacobs greeted junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.) with a two-run double, Olson lined a two-run double and Peisel poked an RBI single to right for a 7-0 margin. Dunn and Wyatt drew consecutive walks from Gawriluk (0.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R) to fill the bases and prompt another pitching change. Side lofted a sacrifice fly to right off sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) to plate Peisel with the final run of the frame.

 

LaPorta belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning over the right-field fence to put the hosts on the board. Senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) and junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) earned back-to-back walks from freshman Jason Leaver before LaPorta bashed his team-leading 12th dinger to pull within three of matching Brad Wilkerson’s school-record of 55 home runs.

 

Morris opened the fourth with a double down the left-field line and scored on Jacobs’ third two-bagger of the day for a 9-3 Georgia lead. The Gators loaded the bases in the home portion of the stanza but could not push any runs across. Junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) and Pride poked consecutive singles with one out and Leaver countered by fanning Barton, the final batter he faced. The rookie southpaw worked 3.2 innings, giving up four hits and three runs, with five K and three walks. A single into left center by junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) off freshman Stephen Dodson filled the sacks before Jeroloman lined out to short to end the inning.

 

Pride cranked a bases-clearing double with two down in the fifth to narrow UF’s deficit to 9-6. LaPorta reached on an error to start things off and junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) laced a single before Petrie’s bunt erased LaPorta at third. Sophomore Brandon McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.) fielder’s choice forced Cash at third and a walk to Leclerc loaded the bases. Facing an 0-2 count, Pride sliced his third double of the campaign to score three more Florida runs.

 

Moreau took over for Dodson (1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER) at the outset of Florida’s sixth turn at the dish and permitted one hit over two innings. Fields came on prior to the bottom of the eighth and yielded one hit over his two innings of work. For the Gators, Edmondson allowed three hits and a run over 3.2 innings before the duo of junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) (2.2 IP, 2 H) and senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) (0.1 IP) completed the contest. Georgia out-hit the Gators by a 13-9 margin, but stranded 11 runners on base. Cash went 2-for-5 for the home team.

 

Florida will be on the road for the next two weekends for series at No. 24 Mississippi State and No. 6 Alabama. The Gators will face the Bulldogs at Dudy Noble Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday’s games will be carried live on Cox Sports, while the second game will air on Sun Sports.

 

Game Notes

  • David Cash extended his hitting streak to six games.
  • Florida lost all five series to its Eastern Division opponents this season after going 4-1 last year.
  • Nine of Matt LaPorta’s 12 home runs have come against SEC competition.
  • The Gators fell to 4-8 at home in league play.
  • Gavin Dickey missed his second-consecutive game.

 

-UF-

 

 

 

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