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Wednesday April 2, 2008UNF Works Extra To Edge No. 13 Baseball

Gainesville, FL -

North Florida (16-12) plated the tying run in the ninth and used a game-winning single in the 10th by senior Chad Knight (5-for-6) to hand No. 13 Florida (20-8) an 11-10 setback on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,943 fans. Junior Ty Pryor (3-3) worked three scoreless innings with four strikeouts to earn the win, while junior Tyler Stohr collected his seventh save. The Gators suffered their season-high third-straight loss as the teams combined for 32 hits and 21 runs.   


“It’s disappointing, but we have to rebound and get ready for Friday night,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “There’s not much we can do except bear down and work hard to improve.”


Down to their last chance, the Ospreys loaded the bases with none out as Knight (infield hit), sophomore Preston Hale (double) and senior Travis Martin (walk) were successful against junior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.). A fielder’s choice by sophomore Andrew Hannon tied the game, but the reliever rebounded to have senior T.J. Gaudy pop up and senior Andy Warren ground out. The fourth of UF’s seven pitchers, Keating went three innings in his first relief stint of the campaign.


After UNF sophomore Michael Gropper walked with one out in the top of the 10th, sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) (3-2) surrendered a double down the left-field line to freshman Sam Perry. Sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) came out of the bullpen and allowed the go-ahead single by Knight and then issued a walk to Hale to fill the bags. Freshman Travis Lawler (College Station, Texas) induced an inning-ending double play that was started by senior third baseman Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) to keep the Gators down a run. Although junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) walked with two down against Stohr, the righty had sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) fly out to center to end the game.  


The Ospreys had seized a 1-0 lead against senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) in the first inning on an RBI grounder by Hannon. Bamberg was making his initial collegiate start after three relief appearances. Sophomore T.J. Thompson (4-for-6) and Knight started the game with consecutive singles before Martin (3-for-3) drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Hannon’s tapper just to the right of home plate was enough to score his teammate.  


UNF exploded for five hits in the second and built a 4-0 margin. A leadoff single by Warren was followed by senior Mike P. Smith’s second homer of the year. After a single to right by Thompson, Bamberg (1.1 IP, 5 H) was replaced by sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.). The lefty surrendered a base-hit to Knight and an RBI single by Martin.


Highlighted by a three-run homer by den Dekker (2-for-4, four RBI), the Gators answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame to even the game at 4-4. Townsend punched a single up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch by junior Antonio Franzese with two down. Sophomore Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.) put Florida on the board with an RBI single and Barnes (2-for-5) delivered a base-hit before den Dekker blasted his fifth round-tripper on the next pitch.


The visitors came right back in the third with three more runs on two hits for a 7-4 lead. Gaudy was hit by a pitch and Warren doubled to left field to prompt another pitching change, as senior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) replaced Davis (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R). The reliever walked Smith to fill the bags and uncorked a wild pitch to bring in Gaudy. Thompson cleared the bases with his sixth double to plate two runs.


Senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-out single in the third that brought home freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.). Adams had taken over the team lead with his seventh two-bagger to begin the stanza.


Warren and sophomore Ryan Lowe each poked two-out RBI singles in the fourth to give UNF a 9-5 lead. Martin started the inning with a single through the right side and Hannon was plunked before Edmondson induced a 4-6-3 double play from Gaudy. Warren came through with a base-knock into center to bring in Martin and Smith earned a free pass. Warren scored his third run courtesy of Lowe’s single up the middle.


In the bottom of the stanza, den Dekker smoked a triple down the right-field line to score Barnes and chase Franzese (3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R). Sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) collected his 33rd RBI against junior Phil Rorabaugh with a grounder to narrow the gap to 9-7.


The Gators used a two-out, sixth-inning rally in the sixth to take a 10-9 lead. Junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.) had a single and den Dekker drew a two-out walk before Figueroa sliced a 2-2 pitch into shallow right field to score Foster. Adams followed with his second double of the game for the equalizer and Bamberg walked to load the bases. Figueroa came racing home on a wild pitch to give the Orange and Blue their first lead of the night before Townsend went down swinging.


Thompson collected his fourth hit to begin the seventh, ending the night for Edmondson (4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R). Knight advanced his teammate with a sac bunt off Keating and Martin walked with two out before the righty had Hannon ground out to end the frame.


UNF enjoyed a 19-13 edge in hits, as Knight and Thompson were a combined 9-for-12. For the hosts, Adams, Barnes, den Dekker, Figueroa and McArthur chipped in with two hits apiece. Leading the SEC by a game over Georgia and South Carolina, the Gators will travel to Eastern Division rival Tennessee (16-9/5-4 SEC) for a weekend series. Friday’s opener with be a 7 p.m. and be carried live on Sun Sports.  


Game Notes

·         Florida is averaging 11.7 hits a game over its last nine games.

·         The Gators fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Ospreys.

·         Seven of Florida’s runs came with two outs.

·         15 of UF’s 31 home runs this season have come with two outs.

·         Florida has been touched for double-digit hit totals in six of its last seven outings.

·         The game was the first extra-inning affair of the season for the Gators.

·         The game time of exactly four hours was the longest of the year for Florida.




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