Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.)
improved to 5-0 as No. 13 Florida (21-10/8-4 SEC) salvaged the finale of its
series at Tennessee
(19-11/7-5 SEC) with a 7-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Down
by four runs, the Vols had the bases full in the
fifth with none out and the Gators turned a 4-6-3 triple play.
Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
was 3-for-3 with a single, double and homer and scored three times and sophomore
Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
drove in two runs as the Gators ended a five-game slide. The contest was shortened
to seven innings because of the league’s travel policy.
The Gators got off to a quick start with two runs
in the first inning against sophomore Steve Crnkovich
(4-3). Barnes drew a leadoff walk and scored on sophomore Matt den Dekker’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
triple down the right-field line. Figueroa followed with his sixth sacrifice
fly of the season to left for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Tennessee answered with a run of its own on
a bases-loaded infield hit by sophomore Jeff Lockwood to cut the deficit in
half. The Vols used consecutive two-out singles off Keating
by sophomore Yan Gomes, senior Shawn Griffin and freshman Josh Liles to fill
the sacks. Lockwood hit a shot off the pitcher’s leg to drive in Gomes but
Keating worked out of further trouble by having freshman P.J. Polk’s grounder
force Lockwood at second.
extended its lead to 4-1 in the third courtesy of an RBI double by Figueroa and
a wild pitch by junior Ty’Relle Harris. Barnes had
led off with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch and taken
third on a groundout by den Dekker. Figueroa’s ninth two-bagger ended the
afternoon for Crnkovich (2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R). Junior Aaron Everett plunked freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville,
Fla.) and the Gators were able to have
runners on second and third after a flyout by senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) and a Vol
throwing error on the relay throw. As Everett
was pitching to senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.),
he was injured and had to leave the game. On ball four to Townsend, Harris
uncorked an errant pitch that enabled Figueroa to come across with the fourth
the home part of the stanza with his fifth homer to close the gap to 4-2.
Back-to-back one-out singles by Lockwood and Polk put the Vols
in business, only to have Keating work out of the jam by having junior Cody
Brown line into an inning-ending double play.
Barnes blasted his second homer of the campaign
with two down in the fourth to help the visitors re-claim a three-run lead.
Three of his five career round-trippers have come against Tennessee. Bamberg later lofted a sac fly to center in
the fifth, bringing in Figueroa, to increase UF’s
lead to 6-2.
After yielding a leadoff single to Gomes in the
fifth, Keating (4.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R) was replaced by
sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper
City, Fla.). The southpaw surrendered a single
to the lone batter he faced, Griffin, before
junior Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.)
was summoned from the pen. The lefty issued a walk to Liles to load the bases
with none out and had Lockwood line into a 4-6-3 inning-ending triple play. It
was the second time Florida
turned a triple play this season.
Consecutive singles by Pisani
and junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.)
prompted a pitching change, as Lockwood took over for Harris (2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R,
5 K) in the sixth. Barnes’ third-straight hit, an RBI double, completed the
scoring at 7-2. The Vols held an 11-10 edge in hits,
while the trio of Barnes (3-for-3), Figueroa (2-for-3) and Pisani
(2-for-3) turned in multiple-hit efforts for the Gators. Locke collected his
first career save with three scoreless and hitless
innings of work.
UF will resume action on Tuesday night by hosting North Florida (17-13/8-9 Atlantic Sun) at 6:30 p.m. in
the opener of a two-game set at McKethan Stadium. The
Opreys posted an 11-10 win in 10 innings last