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Sunday March 9, 2008Baseball Rolls Over Brown, 13-2, To Take Series

Gainesville, FL -

Florida (10-3) raced out to a 10-0 lead through three innings and cruised to a 13-2 victory over Brown (3-4) on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium to claim the rubber game of the clubs’ weekend series. Freshman right-hander Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.) (2-0) worked five innings for the third-straight start and limited the Bears to two hits and a run. UF sent nine batters to plate in both the first and second frames, finished with nine walks and capitalized on a season-high five errors by Brown. Sophomore center fielder Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2-for-5, three runs) and senior third baseman Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) (2-for-4) drove in three runs apiece.   

 

“Everyone has been working hard,” Toledo said. “It was definitely a learning experience for us this weekend. Yesterday we came out struggling, but today we came out stronger and with more intensity. Nine runs in the first two innings from my teammates made it easier for me to pitch ahead and let the defense do the work.”

 

The Gators reached BU freshman starter Matthew Kimball (0-1) for four runs on four hits and two walks in the opening frame. Junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) (1-for-3, three runs, three walks) had an 11-pitch at bat and drew a leadoff walk and freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) (two runs, two walks) singled before sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) stroked an RBI single into left field to extend his hitting streak to seven games and help UF draw first blood for the first time in the series. den Dekker cleared the bases with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead for a seven-game hitting streak and alertly scored on senior Brandon McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.) fly ball to left field when Bear junior shortstop Matt Nuzzo committed an error on the relay.

 

Florida continued to pile up the offense in the second, plating five more runs to take a 9-0 lead. Kimball was replaced on the mound by freshman Josh Feit, who was hurt by two errors that lead to four unearned runs. After Barnes drew a walk and stole second, Figueroa reached on Nuzzo’s second error of the day to give the Gators runners on the corners. den Dekker smashed a single that hit Feit and scored Barnes with the fifth run. Another miscue by Nuzzo allowed McArthur to reach and Figueroa to come across and sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) rifled his fourth two-bagger down the left-field line to drive in den Dekker. Townsend then stroked a two-RBI single into left to balloon the margin to 9-0.

 

Brown’s fourth error resulted in a 10-0 lead for the home team in the third. Freshman Mark Gormley came out of the bullpen for Feit (1.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 1 ER) and was greeted by a leadoff single from Barnes. A walk to Adams left two runners aboard and den Dekker’s fielder’s choice erased Adams. However, a throwing mistake by rookie second baseman Ryan Zrenda allowed Barnes to score for the third time.  

 

The Bears got on the board in the fourth with a two-out single into center by Zrenda. Freshman Matt Colantonio had drawn a one-out walk and occupied second on a wild pitch from Toledo.

 

Redshirt freshman Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) delivered a pinch-hit RBI double for his first career hit in the sixth and Townsend added a two-out run-scoring single to boost UF’s margin to 12-1. den Dekker had reached on an error and swiped both second and third before Cooper came through with the Gators’ third double. Townsend notched his third RBI of the day and sixth of the series with a two-out single to score McArthur.

 

Sophomore Matt Boylan relieved Gormley (4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER) in the seventh and walked the bases loaded as Barnes, Adams and Figueroa each strolled to first. After a fielder’s choice by den Dekker forced Barnes at home, senior Peter Moskal entered the game. The righty fanned Cooper but then issued a free pass to McArthur for a 13-1 count. After being held hitless by senior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) and sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) for three innings, the Bears had two hits and scored a run off junior Michael Branham (Tampa, Fla.) in the ninth to finalize the 13-2 margin. Branham’s stint was his first appearance since April 2, 2006, versus Vanderbilt.

 

Eight different players contributed to the Gators’ total of 11 hits and the Orange and Blue swiped five bases. Florida will return to action on Tuesday by hosting Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m. The Eagles are 11-2 overall and are 5-1 in the Atlantic Sun Conference after sweeping Gardner-Webb in a three-game series this weekend.

 

Game Notes

  • UF is now 3-0 on Sunday’s this season and has not lost on Sunday since May 13, 2007 vs. LSU.
  • The Gators have scored in the first inning in seven of its nine home games.
  • Florida is now 7-1 when scoring first.
  • UF has out-scored foes by a 20-4 margin in the first frame and 29-10 in the second inning this season (49-14 total in the first two innings).
  • Florida batted all nine batters in the first and second innings for the first time since a victory over Eastern Michigan on Feb. 27 and for just the second time all year.
  • Jon Townsend has driven in three RBI in back-to-back games.

 

-UF-

 

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