Florida sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play as the
Gators (16-4/4-1 SEC) squared their weekend series at eighth-ranked Ole Miss
(15-7/3-2 SEC) with a 6-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at Oxford-University
Stadium at Swayze Field. With two runners aboard and the Rebels looking to
duplicate Friday night’s come-from-behind win in the ninth, Mullaney
had junior Cody Overbeck ground out to sophomore
shortstop Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.),
who was able to turn UF’s second double play of the
contest to preserve the triumph for junior Patrick
Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.). Keating (3-0) yielded five hits
and three runs over six innings, while Mullaney
converted his third save opportunity.
Gators burst out of the gates with four runs on five hits against Rebel junior
right-hander Cody Satterwhite (2-1) in the first
inning. Junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
led off with a single into right field to extend his hitting streak to 12 games
and moved to second on a grounder by sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.).
A base-hit into left by Figueroa gave the visitors runners on the corners and
senior Jon Townsend (London,
singled through the right side to open the scoring. Sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.)
cranked Satterwhite’s next pitch to left center for
his sixth double of the year, driving in both of his teammates, for a 3-0
cushion. With Pigott taking third on the relay throw,
senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.)
collected his second RBI of the year with a single to give UF a 4-0 lead but
was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
used a sacrifice fly by junior Logan Power off Keating in the third to get on
the scoreboard. Senior Fuller Smith opened the frame with a single into right
and advanced to second on a balk. Figueroa committed a throwing error to allow Overbeck to reach base, leaving the Rebels with two men
aboard, and Power flew out to den Dekker for a 4-1 margin.
Dekker delivered his first sacrifice fly of the campaign to increase Florida’s advantage to
5-1 in the fifth. Sophomore Buddy Munroe
reached on a throwing error by junior catcher Brett Basham,
took second on a wild pitch and was moved over to third on a bunt by Barnes. Soon
after, den Dekker lofted a fly ball into left that plated Munroe.
home part of the stanza, redshirt freshman Matt Smith clubbed his sixth homer
with two down to bring Ole Miss within 5-3. Overbeck
was hit by a pitch with one down and advanced on a grounder by Power. Smith
stepped to the plate and launched a dinger to straightaway center field to
reduce the hosts’ deficit to two runs.
Gators’ bid for another run in the sixth fell by the wayside when Pigott was cut down at the plate to end the inning. With two
down, Pigott singled and Bamberg drew a walk. With a 3-0 count on
McArthur, Satterwhite had an apparent blister and was
replaced by sophomore Rory McKean. Senior Brandon
McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) beat out an infield hit just
beyond second base but Pigott was erased on a perfect
strike from sophomore second baseman Zach Miller to Basham.
came through with a clutch two-out, two-strike RBI single in the seventh to
bring UF’s lead to 6-3. Munroe had started things off
with a single but was forced at second on Barnes’ failed sacrifice bunt
attempt. Barnes grabbed the team lead in stolen bases with his 10th theft and
came around on Figueroa’s second hit of the afternoon into left field.
pulled within 6-4 in the seventh and had runners on the corners with one down,
only to be denied when senior Josh
Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) had Matt Smith hit into an
inning-ending 6-4-3 double. Junior Stephen
Locke (Tampa, Fla.) had taken over for Keating prior
to seventh and retired the first batter he faced before running into trouble.
Senior Kyle Mills had a pinch-hit single with one down and Overbeck
followed with an infield single to increase his hitting streak to 22 games.
Power drove in junior pinch runner Michael Hubbard for a 6-4 margin and knocked
Locke from the ballgame. Edmondson came out of the pen and coaxed a ground ball
from Smith that Figueroa scooped up and turned two to preserve the Gators’
Bamberg opened the ninth with his
career-best third hit and the Rebels decided to bring in junior Scott Bittle for McKean (2.1 IP, 4 H, 1
R). Freshman pinch runner Chris Freshcorn (Tampa,
Fla.) was caught in a rundown
and the reliever fanned McArthur and Munroe to send Ole Miss to the bottom
frame down by two.
Cullan Kight began the decisive
stanza with a pinch-hit single into right field off Edmondson and O’Sullivan
summoned sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City,
the mound. The lefty walked sophomore Jordan Henry to advance junior pinch
runner Sean Stuyverson but then rebounded to set down
Hubbard looking on strikes. Mullaney came to the
rescue by having Overback bounce a 2-1 offering to
Figueroa to end the game and snuff out a potential rally.
Led by Bamberg (3-for-3) and two
apiece from Figueroa and Pigott, UF held an 11-9 advantage
in hits. However, den Dekker’s 12-game hitting streak was ended with an 0-for-3 performance. Basham and Power were 2-for-3 for
Ole Miss and each squad committed two errors. Freshman righty
Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.)
(3-0, 2.14) will start tomorrow’s rubber game at 1 p.m. against UM sophomore
left-hander Nathan Baker (1-2, 4.19).