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Saturday May 20, 2006Baseball Doubles Up LSU, 10-5, To Capture Series

Gainesville, FL

Florida (28-28/10-20 SEC) celebrated Senior Day at McKethan Stadium in fine fashion on Saturday afternoon by posting a 10-5 victory over LSU (34-22/13-17 SEC). The win enabled the Gators to earn their first series triumph over the Tigers since the 1998 campaign. Despite the setback, LSU earned the final berth into next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament as a result of Ole Miss’ 13-11 decision over Mississippi State.  


Sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) had a career-high four RBI and finished 2-for-4, highlighted by his first homer of the season, a two-run blast in the eighth. Senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) closed his career with a 2-for-5 outing and scored twice, junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) was 2-for-5 with two RBI, junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) was 2-for-5 and junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) (1-for-4) equaled his career-best of two stolen bases. Sophomore Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) threw 1.2 scoreless innings to notch his second win, while LSU freshman Louis Coleman moved to 5-5 with the defeat.


The Tigers opened the scoring on a wild pitch by freshman starter J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the third inning. Senior Will Harris stroked a leadoff single into left and was sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by senior Bruce Sprowl. A grounder by sophomore Michael Hollander pushed his teammate to third and LaCoste’s pitch to freshman J.T. Wise was too high for Jeroloman, enabling Harris to score. LaCoste caught Wise looking on strikes to end the frame.


Florida seized a 2-1 lead in the home portion of the inning on two runs and three hits. Barton beat out an infield hit to start the inning and stole second before sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) drew a walk from Coleman. A fielder’s choice by senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.) forced McArthur at second but left the Gators with runners on the corners. Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) sliced an RBI single through the right side and a bunt single from Jeroloman plated Woods with the go-ahead run.  


Spottswood took over for LaCoste (3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R) at the outset of the fourth and pitched out of a jam by having sophomore Jordan Mayer ground into an inning-ending double play. In the fifth, Harris punched a double down the left-field and went to third on Sprowl’s ground out. After Spottswood issued a walk to Hollander, he was replaced by sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.), who had Wise ground out to close the stanza. Spottswood limited the Tigers to one hit over 2.1 frames and issued three walks.   


The Gators tacked on two more runs in the fifth to build a 4-1 cushion. Woods led off with a sharp single to left and Davis popped up a bunt attempt to the catcher. With Woods running, Jeroloman poked his seventh double of the year and collected his second RBI of the game to drive in his teammate from first base. A fly ball to the warning track by junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was enough to move Jeroloman to third and Barber was hit by a pitch for a pair of UF runners aboard. Cash rifled a double into right center for a three-run lead and Coleman prevented further scoring by having Dickey fly out to left.


Junior Steven Waguespack connected on his third homer of the season, a solo shot with two down in the sixth, to pull LSU within 4-2. Florida answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame on three hits for a 7-2 margin. Barton started things off with a double and McArthur smacked a base-hit into right center before Woods lofted a sac fly into left. A walk to Davis resulted in senior Chase Dardar coming out of the bullpen for Coleman, who surrendered eight hits and seven runs over 5.1 innings, with two walks and a strikeout. A deep fly by Jeroloman advanced both McArthur and Davis into scoring position and the Tigers elected to walk LaPorta intentionally. The move back-fired when Barber ripped a two-run single into right field to bring in two more runs for a five-run advantage.


The Bayou Bengals totaled three hits in the seventh and scored a run courtesy of an RBI single by Hollander. Sprowl laced a two-out double, came across on Hollander’s base-knock and Wise came through with a single to give LSU runners on first and third. Edmondson had Stewart tap out to first to hold the count at 7-3 . A two-out error on Woods’ grounder in the bottom of the seventh allowed Dickey to come across with UF’s eighth run.


A two-run double with two down in the eighth by Harris off junior reliever David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) reduced the Tigers’ deficit to 8-5. Liuzza led off with a single to end the afternoon for Edmondson, who permitted five hits and three runs over 2.1 innings. Freshman pinch hitter Robert Lara greeted Hurst with a single up the middle and the southpaw answered by retiring Mayer and freshman Jarred Bogany. Harris poked Hurst’s first pitch to straightaway center for a two-bagger to pick up two RBI.


After LaPorta singled to third base off freshman Darryl Shaffer to open the Florida’s eighth trip to the dish, Barber launched the right-hander’s 2-0 pitch over the wall in right to finalize the margin at 10-5. Senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) entered for Hurst in the ninth and punctuated his outstanding Gator career by putting down the Tigers 1-2-3 to finish with a team-low earned run average of 2.91, the third-straight year he led the pitching staff.




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