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Tuesday March 25, 2008No. 18 Baseball Handles Jacksonville, 11-6

Gainesville, FL -

Freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) was 4-for-5 and matched his career high of five RBI as No. 18 Florida (18-4) used a 17-hit offensive outburst to defeat Jacksonville (13-8), 11-6, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in the front end of a home-and-home series. Senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) drove in a career-high three runs, while sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) (two runs) and senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) (two RBI) contributed three hits apiece. Sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) threw 2.2 scoreless innings to improve to 3-1 on the campaign.


“Josh is a natural hitter,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “He has changed his swing and our assistant coaches did a really nice job with him over the fall. He has a great approach and I think that all of our hitters are developing. We are scoring a lot of runs with two outs and have a lot of two-strike hits.”


“I was seeing the ball well tonight,” Adams said. “I kind of have a good feel for their pitching staff since I grew up in Jacksonville. I’ve known the coach (Terry Alexander) since I was six years old. So, it kind of gave me a good idea of what they like to do up there, and I fortunately had a good game today.” 


Adams put the Gators on the board in the first inning with a two-out single that scored sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). den Dekker had drawn a walk with one down from freshman Sean Green (1-1) and Adams poked a base-hit into right center to break the ice.


Florida increased its advantage to 3-0 in the third. Figueroa opened with a single and Adams followed with his sixth double of the campaign before Townsend’s infield hit brought in Figueroa. Bamberg plated Adams on a fielder’s choice for a three-run margin.  


UF totaled four runs on six hits in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run single from Adams, to build a 7-0 lead. Sophomore Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.) started things off with a single up the middle and junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) earned a free pass to end the evening for Green (3.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R). Earlier, Barnes had extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a second-inning single. Figueroa delivered an infield hit off junior reliever Billy Schlee to load the bases and Adams cashed in with a base-knock into right field to score Barnes and den Dekker. A throwing error by the pitcher left the Gators with two runners in scoring position and consecutive run-scoring singles by Townsend and Bamberg yielded a 7-0 advantage.


The Dolphins sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth, chasing freshman right-hander Travis Lawler (College Station, Texas), and closed the gap to 7-5 with five runs on six hits and an error. Freshman Glen Johnson and junior Thomas Myers had back-to-back singles before a fielder’s choice by sophomore Chuck Opachich left runners on the corners. Junior pinch hitter Dan Maier cleared the bases with a double down the left-field line and senior Kevin Ferreira followed with an RBI single to bring in Maier. Junior Kyle Fleming had an infield hit and a flyout by junior Jeremy Gillan resulted in JU having runners at first and third. Junior Brad Simmons scored Ferreira with a single into center and prompted a pitching change. Franklin replaced Lawler (4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER) and induced a ground ball by senior Matt Lopez. However, Townsend had an errant throw from third that enabled Fleming to score and extend the inning.


Adams came through with a two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the inning off freshman Matt Tomshaw to give the Orange and Blue a 9-5 lead. With Barnes and den Dekker aboard courtesy of walks, Adams smacked his second two-bagger of the night to right center to match his career high of five RBI set against Siena on Feb. 24. He also became the first Gator to produce a four-hit outing since Matt LaPorta was 4-for-5 at LSU on May 11, 2007. Bamberg launched his second homer of the year in the sixth, a solo shot that cleared the left-field bleachers for a 10-5 cushion and Figueroa had an RBI single in the seventh for an 11-5 Gator lead. Jacksonville scored a run in the ninth off sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) on a sac fly by Lopez to complete the scoring.


The squads combined for 30 hits, with UF holding a 17-13 advantage. Seven of the Gators’ nine starters had at least one hit, with the third through seven batters in the lineup a combined 14-for-25. Florida equaled a season high by committing five errors. The teams will meet again tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville.


Game Notes

  • UF has now scored in the first inning in 11 of its first 22 games and the Gators are 15-2 when scoring first.
  • Florida’s six hits in the fourth inning tied its season high set against Eastern Michigan in the fifth inning on Feb. 27.
  • UF’s 15-1 record at McKethan Stadium is the club’s best start since the 2004 squad started 17-1.
  • Over his last four games, Dustin Bamberg is 7-for-14 (.500) with five RBI, three runs and two homers.
  • Tonight was the sixth time this season that freshman Josh Adams has knocked in 3 RBI or more and was his seventh multi-RBI game.
  • With nine games in the cleanup spot, Adams is 16-34 (.470) with 15 RBI, eight runs scored, five doubles and three homers.
  • Sophomore right-hander Clint Franklin tied a career-high with three strikeouts.
  • Florida has now outscored its opponents by a 32-4 count in the first frame this season.
  • Sophomore Cole Figueroa now has a hit in 15 of his last 16 games.
  • Florida did not win its 18th game last year until April 1 against Georgia.




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