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Friday February 23, 2007Kent State Takes Series Opener From Baseball

Gainesville, FL

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 (Orlando, Fla.) 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. Lauderdale, Fla.) 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 three-run cushion. 

 

Pacella 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 Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) and 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 (Jacksonville, 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).  

 

Game Notes

  • Tonight was the first-ever meeting between the Gators and the Golden Flashes.
  • The five runs in the fifth were the most allowed in an inning by Florida this season.
  • The six errors were a season high by UF.

 

-UF-

 

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