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
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.
- David Cash extended his hitting streak to six
- 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.