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Saturday February 23, 2008Keating Lifts Baseball To 4-0 Blanking Of Siena

Gainesville, FL -

Making his second career start, junior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) hurled 5.1 scoreless innings as Florida (2-0) clinched its weekend series against Siena (0-2) with a 4-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. The right-hander scattered five hits and totaled four strikeouts in equaling the longest stint of his career, which occurred in his most recent outing against South Carolina during the 2007 SEC Tournament last May.

 

Sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.), senior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) and sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) kept the Saints off the scoreboard over the final 3.2 innings to preserve the Gators’ first shutout since a 7-0 win over Kent State on Feb. 24, 2007. The hosts’ pitching staff registered six strikeouts and did not permit any walks. With a 3-for-3 effort that featured a couple of RBI, senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) accounted for three of UF’s five hits.

 

“We absolutely wanted to start off with two wins,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “However, today’s game was different than last night’s since we were able to create a little breathing room. Patrick (Keating) had a nice outing; our pitching staff was able to put the ball on the ground without any walks and our defense did not commit any errors. I don’t want to jinx us but we are playing well defensively right now.”

 

“Buddy (Munroe) and I seemed to get into a good groove working together,” Keating said. “He knew what to call and knew what kinds of pitches I wanted to make. I also thought our defense played really well and my teammates picked me up throughout the game.”

 

The Gators drew first blood in the opening inning on a two-out RBI double by McArthur off junior Matt Moberg (0-1). The southpaw recorded two strikeouts before sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) earned a free pass on a 3-2 pitch. McArthur then stroked his second extra-base hit of the year to center field for a quick UF lead.

 

Helped by a Saint throwing error, Florida increased its advantage to 2-0 in the second frame. After Moberg retired the first two batters, sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) singled up the middle and then took second on a wild pitch. In his first at bat of the year, sophomore Buddy Munroe (Miami, Fla.) legged out an infield hit and Pigott was able to come across when the throw from senior shortstop Chris Klepps eluded freshman first baseman Kevin Quaranto.

 

Although the Orange and Blue had runners on second and third with one down in the third, Moberg worked out of trouble. Figueroa walked for the second time and McArthur followed with a base-knock to left and advanced into scoring position on the relay throw. Moberg responded by having senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) pop out to the catcher and fanned freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.).      

 

The Saints threatened in the fifth, as freshman Don DiPetta delivered a one-out single through the left side and junior Phil Cahill dropped a double into shallow left field near the foul line with two down. Keating kept Siena at bay and stranded the runners by having sophomore Anthony Giansanti ground out to sophomore second baseman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.).

 

The Gators tacked on two more runs in the fifth for a 4-0 margin. Pisani reached on a fielding error by Klepps to start the frame and raced down to second on Moberg’s second wild pitch of the game. After Figueroa walked for the third time to set a career high, McArthur’s dribbler just past home plate allowed Pisani to score the third run. Moberg (4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 ER) appeared to be hurt when making the play and was replaced on the mound by senior Ryan King. The reliever caught Townsend looking on strikes before inducing a ground ball by Adams. Although McArthur was forced at second, Figueroa beat the relay throw to the plate for what turned out to be the game’s final run.

 

Klepps and Rivera had consecutive singles to begin the sixth before Keating completed his afternoon by having senior Jacob Willis fly out to right field. Davis came out of the bullpen and had senior Rick Seltzer ground out to McArthur at first, advancing his teammates into scoring position. O’Sullivan called on Edmondson, who had junior pinch hitter Jason DeFilippo ground out to Figueroa to prevent a possible rally and close the stanza.      

 

The Gators and Saints will wrap up their weekend series tomorrow at noon, when freshman RHP Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.) makes his collegiate debut against Siena sophomore left-hander Craig Marcellus.

 

Game Notes

  • Jonathan Pigott (1-for-3) increased his hitting streak to a career-best seven games dating back to last season, while Cole Figueroa’s seven-game skein ended with a 0-for-1 performance in which he walked three times and scored twice.
  • Florida did not commit any errors for the second-straight game.
  • UF’s quartet of pitchers combined for six strikeouts and zero walks.
  • Teddy Foster made his collegiate starting debut at designated hitter and went 0-for-2.
  • Six different players accounted for Siena’s offense.

 

-UF-

 

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