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Saturday March 3, 2007Baseball Overwhelms George Washington, 24-4

Gainesville, FL

Florida (8-6) plated six runs in both the second and fourth innings and used a seven-run seventh on its way to a 24-4 victory to complete a doubleheader sweep of George Washington (1-8) on Saturday at McKethan Stadium. The Gators had captured the opener, 7-1, behind a complete-game effort by junior right-hander Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.).

 

“Bryan (Augenstein) had an outstanding performance today with no walks,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “He stretched his pitch count and battled for us, so that was a real plus. Chris (Petrie) has a phenomenal work ethic and his at-bats were great through both games. Our intensity and mentality in the second game was much better. Our guys are learning to understand how to be aggressive, yet disciplined, at the plate. I am anxious to see how we respond and who steps forward tomorrow after a long doubleheader today.”

 

Freshman Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.) enjoyed a 4-for-4, three-RBI, three-run performance, senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) tied his career-high with four RBI, senior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) was 3-for-4 and scored three runs and junior Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) tallied three RBI as the Gators ripped a season-high 22 hits and drew nine walks. Sophomore Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.) (2-1) gave up one run on six hits in five innings to pick up his second-straight victory. The Gators will try for the sweep tomorrow at 2 p.m. behind freshman right-hander Billy Bullock (Valrico, Fla.) (1-2, 4.50).

 

Senior Michael Parker led off the game with a homer to left field off Locke. It was the first time an opposing hitter started the contest versus Florida with a round-tripper since Miami’s Jon Jay connected off Justin Hoyman at the NCAA Coral Gables Super Regional on June 12, 2004.

 

UF evened the score in the bottom of the frame on a two-out RBI double by Barber. Senior Derek Haese (0-3) retired the first two hitters he faced before walking senior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.). Barber’s first two-bagger of the year scored his teammate all the way from first base.

 

The Gators erupted for six runs in the second with five hits for a 7-1 margin. Senior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Leclerc opened with consecutive singles and Tignor notched his first career RBI with a base-hit through the left side of the infield. A one-out single by junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) brought home Leclerc and freshman Cole Figueroa’s (Tallahassee, Fla.) infield hit scored Tignor and put Townsend on second. After LaPorta stroked an RBI single, a throwing miscue left UF with two runners in scoring position. A grounder by Barber plated Figueroa and LaPorta came racing home on a wild pitch by Haese.

 

“Our game on Tuesday was a huge win, and I think that momentum carried over to today for two big wins,” Petrie said. “We put up some great innings and a lot of runs tonight, and I love that. Offensively, we want to always have the confidence and approach that we can’t get out. We did well with that today.”

 

Helped by two more Colonial errors, UF expanded its lead to 9-1 in the third. Leclerc led off with a single up the middle and Tignor was hit by a pitch before sophomore Avery Barnes’ (High Springs, Fla.) fielder’s choice forced Tignor. Attempting to pick Barnes off first base, Haese’s throwing error enabled Leclerc to score and another miscue on the play by the GW first baseman resulted in Barnes coming around.

 

The home team put up six more runs on four hits and four walks in the fourth to build a commanding 15-1 advantage. Petrie started things off with an infield hit, Leclerc’s single moved him to third and Tignor collected his second RBI with a base-hit to drive in the 10th run. With Leclerc on third, a wild pitch advanced Tignor to second and Barnes earned a free pass to fill the sacks. Townsend’s Texas Leaguer into left scored Leclerc and ended the night for Haese (3.1 IP, 12 H, 14 R, 12 ER). Figueroa drew a walk from sophomore Jimmy Duggan, who then plunked LaPorta and walked Barber to balloon the count to 14-1. The hurler uncorked a wild pitch to plate Figueroa and was pulled after walking Pisani. Rookie Faizan Choudhry stopped the bleeding by setting down the next two batters.

 

An RBI single by junior Gavin Swanson with two down in the sixth off freshman reliever Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) scored sophomore pinch runner Matt Boyd with the Colonials’ second run. The Gators countered with seven more runs in the seventh, featuring Tignor’s fourth hit of the game, a double that scored freshman Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.). Barnes followed with another two-bagger, junior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) smoked an RBI single and Pride cranked a two-run homer to left field to increase the margin to 20-2. Freshman Jake Hicks (Molino, Fla.) poked his second double of the year and classmate Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) blasted his second HR for a 20-run bulge.

 

After Pride notched a two-run single in the eighth for the Orange and Blue, Parker belted his second homer of the game and rookie Chris Holland had an RBI single in the ninth for GW to finalize the margin at 24-4. Florida out-hit the Colonials, 22-14, as eight of the nine starters contributed at least one hit and the defense did not commit any errors. The trio of Franklin (2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER), freshman Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and sophomore J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R) completed the action for the Gators on the mound.

 

Game Notes

  • The last time the Gators took both ends of a doubleheader was on Feb. 23, 2003, when they handled Hofstra by scores of 13-2 and 28-6.
  • UF’s 24 runs were its most since a 24-8 win over Columbia on March 18, 2003.
  • Cole Figueroa raised his hitting streak to nine games with a second-inning single.
  • Jon Townsend (3-for-6, three runs, two RBI) now has eight multiple-hit outings.

 

-UF-

 

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