Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
delivered a pinch-hit single with the bases full in the bottom of the ninth to
(9-3) over Brown (3-3) and forge a split of Saturday’s doubleheader at McKethan Stadium. The Bears had captured the opener, 11-2. In
the nightcap, the Gators trailed 3-0 in the fourth and 7-2 in the sixth before
tying the score with a three-run seventh. Sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando,
Fla.) (2-0) threw a
career-high four innings without yielding a run to notch the victory.
Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) (2-for-3, two runs) opened the
final frame with a single up the middle off senior Rob Hallberg
(0-1). Freshman Chris Freshcorn (Tampa,
Fla.) laid down a bunt to
advance his teammate into scoring position but Hallberg
threw the ball into the outfield, leaving runners on the corners. Following an intentional walk to senior Jon Townsend (London,
Ky.) (2-for-3, three
RBI) that filled the sacks, Barnes drove a 2-2 pitch
just above the reach of junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo
to plate Barber with the decisive run.
“It was exciting
getting the winning hit,” Barnes said. “I think as a team we did a good job
tonight of battling back. Although we got down early, we didn’t lose focus.
Fortunately we were able to come back and get it done at the end. This was a great
win for our ballclub.”
Brown started the scoring in the third inning on an
RBI grounder by senior Conor Reardon. Junior Steve
Daniels (2-for-3) drew a leadoff walk from junior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg,
Ill.) but was erased on a
fielder’s choice by senior Ryan Murphy. A base-hit through the right side by Nuzzo gave the Bears runners on the corners and Reardon’s
ground ball to first base gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Bears seized a 3-0 advantage on back-to-back RBI
singles in the fourth by senior J.J. Eno (2-for-5) and
Daniels. Sophomore Nick Puńal (2-for-4) opened the inning by being hit
by a pitch and freshman Matt Colantonio (3-for-4)
delivered a single before freshman Ryan Zrenda
sacrificed his teammates into scoring position with a bunt. After allowing the
consecutive run-scoring hits, Keating had Murphy ground into a 4-6-3 double
play to end the stanza.
UF countered with a run of its own in the bottom of
inning when Townsend drove in sophomore Jonathan
Beach, Fla.) with
a two-out single. Pigott struck out to start the
inning but reached on a wild pitch by senior Alex Silverman. He reached second
on a wild pitch, moved to third on Barber’s grounder and scored on Townsend’s
hit to the edge of the grass behind second base.
The visitors loaded the sacks with one down in the
fifth but could not pad its two-run edge. Keating retired the leadoff batter, Nuzzo, and was replaced by junior Stephen Locke (Tampa,
Fla.). Over 4.1 innings,
Keating gave up six hits and three runs and matched his season high of four
strikeouts. Locke committed a fielding error on Reardon’s bunt and then let
loose a wild pitch to push the runner to second. After issuing a walk to junior
Robert Papenhause, the southpaw yielded a single to Puńal
to fill the bases. However, he worked out of the jam by fanning Colantonio and having Zrenda
McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.) fielder’s choice pulled the Gators
within 3-2 in the home part of the fifth. Sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) poked a leadoff single and was sacrificed over
by freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
reached on an error for runners on the corners and McArthur collected his 12th
RBI with a grounder to third.
The Bears exploded for four runs on four hits to
create a 7-2 bulge in the sixth. Eno singled up the
middle, Daniels was hit by pitch and fielder’s choice by Murphy loaded the
bases with none out. Nuzzo deposited a RBI single
into center for a 4-2 margin and prompted a pitching change. Franklin took over
for Locke (0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R) and popped up sophomore Chris Tanabe before
surrendering a two-run single into left center by Papenhause
and a two-out hit by Colantonio for a five-run Brown
right back with a pair of runs in the inning to close the gap to 7-4. Barber
was hit by a pitch and Townsend registered his second career triple with one
down before sophomore Buddy Munroe (Miami,
Fla.) lofted a sac fly
to center field to end the night for Silverman. Over 5.2 innings, the righty
struck out eight batters, allowed six hits was charged with four runs (three
earned). Sophomore reliever Matt Boylan had den
Dekker foul out to end the inning.
retired the Bears 1-2-3 in the seventh and his teammates responded with three
runs to knot the game at 7-7. Adams began the
frame with his team-leading third homer to right field. Following a walk to
Figueroa, Brown made the call to senior Peter Moskal
out of the bullpen. The righty walked McArthur and Pigott
beat out a bunt to increase his hitting streak to 16 games and load the bases.
After Barber was hit by a pitch for the second time in the contest, bringing
home Figueroa, Moskal struck out freshman Chris Freshcorn (Tampa, Fla.).
Townsend lofted his initial sac fly of the year to even the score and the
reliever fanned Munroe to leave the runners on the corners.
The Gators threatened in the eighth, as Figueroa and
McArthur collected back-to-back two-out singles off senior Anthony Vita. Hallberg uncorked a wild pitch on his first throw from the
mound to advance the runners into scoring position but recovered to have Pigott fly out to right.
Each squad finished with 12 hits and committed
three errors. The quartet of Adams, Barber, Figueroa and Townsend had two hits
each for UF, while Colantonio led the Bears with a
3-for-4 outing. Freshman Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.)
(1-0, 3.60) will start tomorrow’s finale at 1 p.m. for the Gators against
either Brown freshman RHP Josh Feit (0-0, 0.00) or
freshman RHP Matthew Kimball (0-0, 180).
- Florida also overcame a five-run
deficit to upend Siena
on Feb. 22, 10-7.
Figueroa committed three errors in the opener and reached base twice in
the second game because of Brown’s fielding miscues.
time of 3:07 was the Gators’ longest game of the season.
Adams has a seven-game hitting streak at McKethan