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Wednesday March 5, 2008Baseball Blanks Campbell, 15-0

Gainesville, FL -

Freshman Travis Lawler (College Station, Texas) (1-0) fired five scoreless innings to earn his first collegiate victory as Florida (8-2) completed a two-game sweep of Campbell (3-5) with a 15-0 shutout on Wednesday at McKethan Stadium. The right-hander allowed three singles and was supported by an offense which tallied 14 hits and clubbed a season-high three home runs. A quartet of relievers combined on the Gators’ second shutout of the season as head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club improved to 7-0 at home. After yielding three runs in the top of the first during Tuesday’a 15-3 win, Florida’s pitching staff twirled 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings. 


Freshman Chris Freshcorn (Tampa, Fla.) (2-for-2) cranked a pinch-hit two-run homer on the first pitch he saw as a collegian in the seventh and tacked on an RBI single the next inning. Sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2-for-5, three runs) connected on a three-run homer in the third and sophomore Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.) (2-for-2, three RBI, two runs) smacked his first career dinger in the eighth with a two-run jack.


The Gators jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first against Campbell junior right-hander Josh Fish (0-1) courtesy of an RBI double by sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) and a run-scoring single by sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.). Sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) had drawn a one-out walk and Figueroa followed with his team-leading fourth two-bagger for his 18th RBI. After senior Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) earned a free pass with two down, Pigott raised his hitting streak to 14 games with a single into right that brought home Figueroa.


Pisani delivered a two-out RBI double in the second and an error on senior Brandon McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.) grounder resulted in a 4-0 UF advantage. A fielder’s choice by den Dekker erased junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.) at second but then Pisani roped a 0-1 pitch into left center to drive in his teammate. Figueroa drew a walk for a pair of runners aboard and McArthur’s grounder was misplayed by sophomore shortstop Zach Johnson, enabling Pisani to come across.


den Dekker cranked a three-run blast in the third stanza to put the Orange and Blue up by a 7-0 margin. Fish retired the first two batters before freshman Evan Chambers (Lakeland, Fla.) reached on Johnson’s second error of the afternoon. Following a walk to Foster, freshman Wes Edwards replaced Fish (2.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 BB) on the hill. den Dekker launched the righty’s second pitch deep over the wall in right for his second round-tripper of the season. 


After Florida junior J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) kept the Fighting Camels off the board in the sixth, freshman Ellis Lowe greeted freshman reliever Cody Barnes (San Mateo, Fla.) with a leadoff double in the seventh. Although a one-out single by junior John Watlington left runners on the corners, Barnes worked out of trouble by striking out Johnson and had junior Carlton Floyd ground out.


In the bottom of the frame, the hosts increased their lead to 10-0 on Freshcorn’s two-run homer that came on his first collegiate swing. Senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) reached on a throwing error to begin the stanza and scored on Tignor’s single through the left side of the infield. Pinch hitting for Pisani with two down, Freshcorn jumped on junior Trevor Smith’s (3.1 IP, 7 H, 8 R) initial offering and sent it over the left-field wall for a memorable first hit.


The Gators erupted for five runs on five hits with two down in the eighth to finalize the 15-0 margin. Pigott singled and Townsend walked before Chambers’ first collegiate hit to left field drove in Pigott and a fielding miscue on the play allowed Townsend to score. Tignor stepped to the dish and belted Smith’s 0-1 pitch to left to clear the bases. den Dekker followed with a double and scored on Freshcorn’s base-knock up the middle to complete the scoring barrage.


Florida doubled up Campbell in the hit column, 14-7, with seven going for extra bases. Pigott was 3-for-5, while den Dekker, Pisani, Freshcorn and Tignor chipped in with two hits apiece. Lowe was 4-for-4 for the Fighting Camels. Junior LHP Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore RHP Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) each threw a scoreless frame to close the game. The Gators will host defending Ivy League champion Brown (2-2) in a weekend series at McKethan Stadium. Friday’s opener will begin at 6:30 p.m.


Game Notes

·         The Gators have already collected three series sweeps this season (Siena, Eastern Michigan, Campbell), matching last year’s total (George Washington, Auburn, Georgia).

·         UF’s eight victories have been credited to eight different pitchers.

·         The Orange and Blue batted a scorching .388 (31-for-80), out-scored the Fighting Camels by a 31-3 margin and had 14 extra-base hits (nine doubles, one triple, four homers).

·         Florida did not have any stolen bases or attempts today.




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