Sophomore Will Weidig
(1-1) went eight strong innings as Brown (3-2) captured the first game of a
doubleheader against Florida
(8-3) with an 11-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at McKethan
Stadium. The right-hander from Katy,
Texas, held the Gators scoreless
until the sixth inning and the Bears used a three-run homer in the sixth by
sophomore Nick Puńal
(1-for-5) and a four-run eighth to take the opener of the three-game set. Weidig registered seven strikeouts, scattered five hits and
permitted two walks for the defending Ivy League champions.
The Bears seized a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a
one-out single by senior Conor Reardon (2-for-3) off
sophomore Billy Bullock (Balm, Fla.) (1-2). Senior Ryan Murphy (2-for-5, two runs)
opened the frame with a bunt single, moved to second on a wild pitch and took
third on a passed ball. Reardon sliced a base-hit through the right side of the
infield to score his teammate and snap UF’s string of
20.1 scoreless innings before Bullock induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double
Brown increased its advantage to 2-0 the next
inning on a double to left by senior J.J. Eno.
Freshman Ryan Zrenda had reached on a one-out error
by sophomore shortstop Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) and
Eno roped a 0-1 offering from Bullock over junior
left fielder Avery Barnes’ (High Springs, Fla.)
head for his fourth RBI.
Murphy prevented the Gators from getting on the
board in the bottom of the fifth when he robbed sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.)
of a potential homer with a leaping grab at the wall in left field.
Puńal cranked a three-run shot with
two down in the sixth to give the Bears a 5-0 cushion. Murphy opened the stanza
with an infield hit and was sacrificed to second by junior Matt Nuzzo. Bullock issued a walk to Reardon and then caught
junior Robert Papenhause looking on strikes for his
fifth K. Puńal
launched the right-hander’s next offering just out of Barnes’ reach for his
first round-tripper of the year.
The Gators used a sacrifice fly by Figueroa and an
RBI single by sophomore Matt den Dekker
Fla.) to close the gap to 5-2
in the home part of the frame. Barnes connected on his second double of the
afternoon with one down and freshman Josh
Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.)
followed with a single for runners on the corners. Soon after, Figueroa lofted
his third sac fly to straightaway center field for his team-leading 19th RBI. After
a walk to senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.), den
Dekker rifled a single into left on a 3-2 pitch from Weidig
to drive in Adams. The hurler worked out of a
further trouble by having sophomore Jonathan
Beach, Fla.) line
out to third to strand the two runners.
Junior J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville,
Fla.) replaced Bullock (6.0
IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 K, 1 BB) prior to seventh and plunked Eno
and junior Steve Daniels with one down. The righty had Murphy ground into a
4-6-3 double play to keep UF down by three.
Brown tacked on four insurance runs on three hits
and two errors in the eighth to build a 9-2 lead. The Bears loaded the bases
with none out, as Nuzzo reached on a throwing error
by Figueroa and the duo of Reardon and Papenhause
singled. Sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City,
summoned from the bullpen for LaCoste (1.0 IP, 2 H, 3
R, 1 ER) and uncorked a wild pitch to allow Nuzzo to score. After having Puńal ground out, Davis walked Zrena intentionally to fill the sacks. Freshman Matt Colantonio poked an infield single to score sophomore pinch
runner Chris Tanabe and a fielder’s choice by Eno
brought in Papenhause. A throwing miscue by Figueroa on
the play also enabled Zrenda to come in for a
seven-run lead for the visitors.
The Bears plated two more runs on three hits in the
ninth off freshman reliever Cody Barnes
(San Mateo, Fla.). Nuzzo
had a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Tanabe
earned a free pass. Papenhause delivered an RBI
base-knock up the middle and Zrenda later added a
run-scoring single to finalize the 11-2 margin.
Brown out-hit the Gators by a 12-6 count, as three
players turned in multiple-hit outings. For Florida, Avery Barnes was 2-for-4 and Pigott extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a
ninth-inning double off senior Anthony Vita (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 K). Junior RHP Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.)
(1-0, 0.96) will start game two of the twinbill
against Brown senior RHP Alex Silverman (1-0, 2.57).
Figueroa set a single-season high with his eighth stolen base in the first
streak of scoring in the first frame during six-straight home games was
defeat was UF’s first at McKethan
Stadium this season after seven victories.
Bullock matched his season high of six innings pitched but suffered his
second loss in a row.
win ended a three-game losing streak by the Bears against the Gators in
the all-time series.