two of three games from fifth-ranked Miami (Fla.) at McKethan Stadium over the weekend, the Gators (4-3) will
host No. 2 Florida State (9-0) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night in the first of
three meetings between the squads in 2007. The teams will also tangle on April
3 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and at Dick Howser
Stadium in Tallahassee
on April 18. UF and FSU split two meetings last year, with each club winning on
its opponent’s home field.
Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) (1-0, 0.00) draws the starting
assignment for the Gators and will be on the bump for the second time in his
collegiate career. In his debut last Tuesday night, the southpaw held Florida A&M to a single over five scoreless innings with four
strikeouts and one walk. He will be opposed by FSU sophomore RHP Bo O’Dell (1-0, 0.00).
not come as a surprise, but nine of Florida’s
top-10 crowds in school history have come against the Seminoles, including the
top five mid-week games. Although the seating capacity is listed at 5,500
following the McKethan Stadium expansion project,
there are areas for standing-room only overlooking left field and along the
terrace above right field. The top crowd in school history is 5,698, achieved
in the second game of the 2005 NCAA Super Regional on June 11, 2005, when UF
upended Florida State, 8-5, to advance to the College
its winning streak over Miami (Fla.) to a school-record seven games before
falling in Sunday’s finale, 10-7. The series victory marked the third-straight
time that Florida
had defeated UM, a feat it had never accomplished. In the opener, junior Bryan
Fla.) limited Miami to three hits and zero earned runs over
seven innings and the Gators took advantage of five errors to post a 7-2 win.
The right-hander registered a season-high seven strikeouts and junior shortstop
Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) (2-for-4, two runs, two RBI)
snapped a scoreless tie with a home run in the fourth. On Saturday, UF sent 10
batters to the plate during a five-run fourth inning and used strong relief
pitching to collect a 7-5 win. Sophomore reliever Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.)
notched his first career win, while senior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
picked up his first save with 1.2 scoreless frames. Freshman Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) delivered a pinch-hit, two-run single as part of the fourth-inning outburst, while classmate Cole
Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and
Townsend chipped in with two hits.
to pace the Gators’ offense, as the slugger batted .400 (6-for-15) over his
team’s four outings last week. On the season, LaPorta
has a .481 clip and also leads Florida
in slugging percentage (.926), on-base percentage (.588), RBI (9), walks (5)
and home runs (4). He went 3-for-5 with an RBI and stolen base in the 15-1
victory over Florida A&M last Tuesday and was
3-for-10 (.300) in the squad’s 2-1 series triumph over UM. In the final game of
the set, LaPorta was 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and
matched his career-best of five RBI.
Townsend, the Gators’ leadoff hitter, has a .419 average and
produced six multiple-hit outings in seven games. Although the series finale
marked the first time this season the shortstop failed to collect a hit, he
drew two walks and scored twice. Figueroa is hitting .333 with four runs, four
RBI and two HR. His father, Bien, was
an All-American at Florida
State in 1986 and later
played in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals. Sophomore
catcher Cody Neer
(.296) has driven in six runs and five of his eight hits this year have gone
for extra bases, while senior outfielder Austin
Pride (Longwood, Fla.) has a .357 clip. Seniors Steven Porter (Ocoee,
Fla.) and Hurst
junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) have anchored Florida's bullpen by working a total of 17.1
innings without yielding an earned run.
teams' last meeting, a five-run second inning powered the Gators to an 8-3
victory over fifth-ranked Florida
State on April 19, 2006.
The teams endured a pair of weather delays totaling two hours and six minutes.
The contest had started in front of 6,249 fans, the eighth-largest crowd in
Dick Howser Stadium history. Gavin Dickey went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and matched his
career-high of four RBI, while LaPorta was 2-for-4
with a solo shot, two RBI and two runs. Edmondson worked 1.2 innings to raise
his mark to 5-0 and the duo of Porter (2.1 IP) and Darren O’Day (2.0 IP) held the
State attack scoreless.
The triumph was the 550th of Pat McMahon’s career and enabled the Gators
to split the two-game season series.
leads the all-time series, 111-90-1, although the Gators have a 48-45 advantage
UF has taken seven of the last 11 meetings.