Kent State (1-3) erupted for five runs in the fifth inning
to overcome a 3-1 deficit on its way to a 10-4 victory over Florida (4-5) in the opener of a three-game
series Friday night at McKethan Stadium. The Golden
Flashes notched their first win of the campaign behind senior John Pacella (1-0, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) and took advantage of six
Gator errors. Florida junior Bryan Augenstein
(Sebastian, Fla.) (1-2) registered a career-high 11
strikeouts over seven innings.
“It was a tough night for us,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “Bryan (Augenstein) pitched well. He had a rough inning, but he got
through it, and his last couple of innings were great.
We had an outstanding practice yesterday, but we made some physical errors and
forced it a bit tonight. The key to athletic performance is to stay within your
strengths. We need to improve in all aspects of our game.”
The Gators seized a 1-0 lead in the opening frame
on an RBI single by freshman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.)
off Pacella. Freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee,
Fla.) had extended his hitting
streak to four games with a base-hit up the middle and advanced to second on a
throwing error by the pitcher. With two down, Pisani
roped a base-hit to right field for his eighth RBI to open the scoring.
Helped by a Florida
error, the Golden Flashes tied the game in the third on a two-out single by
rookie Greg Rohan. Junior Doug Sanders singled
through the left side off Augenstein and moved to
second when sophomore Chris Tremblay’s potential double play ball was booted.
Following a strikeout of senior Andrew Davis, Rohan
slapped a single to right center. Augenstein
countered by fanning sophomore Jason Patton for his fifth K.
UF answered in the home part of the inning on
sophomore Cody Neer’s
two-out, two-run single for a 3-1 advantage. Pisani
drew a leadoff walk and moved to second when freshman Matt den Dekker’s (Ft.
bunt attempt was mishandled. Freshman Jonathan
Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) executed his first career sacrifice to advance
his teammates into scoring position before Pacella
struck out senior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Facing an 0-2 count, Neer
delivered a key hit up the middle to put the Gators on top.
A five-run fifth for the Golden Flashes, featuring four-consecutive
hits with one down, resulted in a 6-3 margin. Sophomore Ryan Mitchell reached
on a leadoff error and Sanders drew a walk before Tremblay’s grounder pushed
the runners along. Davis connected on a two-run double to knot the game at 3-3,
Rohan followed with a go-ahead RBI single and Patton
smacked a two-bagger to give KSU two runners in scoring position. Sophomore
Brad Winter then cleared the bases with a single to give the visitors a
departed after five innings in which he yielded five hits and zero earned runs,
with two strikeouts and a walk. Junior Reid Lamport retired
the first four batters he faced before junior Jon Townsend (London,
Ky.) connected on his third
homer with one out in the seventh to close the gap to 6-4. Florida has now hit a round-tripper in all
nine games this year. After junior Bryson
Pisani drew back-to-back two-out walks, Lamport rebounded to catch den Dekker looking on strikes.
Freshman Jared Batholomew
provided Kent State
with insurance on an RBI single in the eighth off junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange,
Ga.). Senior Will Vazquez
earned a free pass with one out, stole second, moved to third on a throwing
error and came across on the base-hit into left. The Orange and Blue worked out of further trouble
by having Sanders ground into an inning-ending double play.
KSU took advantage of three Florida consecutive errors and a wild pitch
in the ninth to build a 10-4 lead. Tremblay reached on an error to start things
off and was safe at second on a throwing miscue on Davis’ grounder. Rohan’s
bunt was thrown away, allowing Tremblay to score and Davis to occupy third. Patton
singled through the right side to bring in Davis and force a pitching change. Freshman Kyle Mullaney
Fla.) replaced Edmondson (1.0
IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER) and allowed a sac bunt by Winter
that moved the runners into scoring position. A wild pitch by the hurler
enabled Rohan to score the Golden Flashes’ final run.
Kent State held a 9-6 advantage in hits,
as Sanders (2-for-4, two runs), Rohan (2-for-4, two
RBI, two runs) and Patton (2-for-5) chipped in with multiple hits. Lamport limited UF to one hit and totaled four K over four
frames to collect the save. Pisani was a perfect
2-for-2 for the home team, while Townsend was 2-for-5. Sophomore LHP Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.)
(0-1, 7.56) will pitch for the Gators tomorrow at 2 p.m. against junior RHP Dominique
Rodgers (0-1, 9.00).
was the first-ever meeting between the Gators and the Golden Flashes.
five runs in the fifth were the most allowed in an inning by Florida this
six errors were a season high by UF.