Junior right-hander Patrick Keating (Harrisburg,
Ill.) improved to 7-0 as No.
24 Florida (25-14/10-7 SEC) evened its weekend series with No. 17 Kentucky
(29-9/8-9 SEC) by notching a 13-7 victory on Saturday night at Cliff Hagan
Stadium. The contest lasted four hours and 20 minutes and featured nine pitchers,
25 hits, 20 runs and seven errors.
Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
went 5-for-6 with three RBI and three runs and sophomore Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.)
was 3-for-5 with a solo homer to help the Gators end a three-game losing
streak. The defeat was just the second at home for the Wildcats this season.
Townsend (London, Ky.) delivered a two-run, bases-loaded
single with two down in the first off sophomore James Paxton (3-2) to give the
Gators a quick lead. Sophomore Cole
Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
singled up the middle and freshman Josh
Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) followed with a walk. After senior
Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.)
flew out to right, pushing Figueroa to third, Adams
stole his eighth base for two men in scoring position. Senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.)
was hit by a pitch to fill the bags and Townsend roped Paxton’s initial
offering into center field to break the ice.
The Wildcats answered in the bottom of the inning on
a two-out RBI double by senior Brian Spear that scored junior Collin Cowgill. Cowgill had doubled off Keating
and came home on the two-bagger off the wall in right center.
Tignor led off the second with
his second homer of the season to left field. Barnes then punched a single
through the left side and sophomore Matt
den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla.) was hit by a pitch. A
fielder’s choice by Figueroa forced the runner at second and Adams
walked to load the bases and end the night for Paxton (1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R). Bamberg
greeted senior Aaron Lovett with a sac fly to right for a 4-1 UF advantage.
The Gators broke the game open in the fifth with
three runs on three walks and two hits to take a 7-1 lead. Back-to-back walks
to Townsend and sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples,
Fla.) prompted another
pitching change. Tignor’s single into left off sophomore
Clint Tilford loaded the bases and Barnes rifled a
base-hit up the middle to plate Townsend. Senior Tommy Warner came out of the
bullpen and walked den Dekker, enabling Pisani to score,
and the righty had Figueroa ground into a 6-4-3 double play that brought in Tignor with the seventh run.
countered with a pair of two-out runs in the home part of the fifth to close
within 7-3. Keating retired the first two batters before sophomore Keenan Wiley
stroked a hit up the middle and Cowgill was plunked.
Carroll had an RBI single to left and Spear delivered a base-knock into left
center to narrow the Wildcats’ deficit to four runs.
UF expanded its lead to 9-3 in the seventh when freshman
third baseman Chris Bisson misplayed McArthur’s two-out
ground ball with the bases loaded. Barnes had led off with a single and stole
second base before Adams was walked
intentionally with two out. Sophomore Jonathan
was hit to load the bases and McArthur sent a ball up the third-base line that
went through Bisson’s legs to score both Barnes and
Keating departed after six innings in which he
surrendered nine hits and three runs, with four strikeouts and a walk. Kentucky took advantage
of the departure by tallying four runs on four hits and two errors for a 9-7
deficit. Cowgill drew a leadoff walk from sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper
City, Fla.) and moved to third on Carroll’s
base-hit. The southpaw fanned Spear but then Pisani
botched Wilkes’ grounder, enabling Cowgill to come
in. After Davis beaned
senior Tyler Howe, O’Sullivan made the call to the bullpen for sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.)
with the sacks full. Freshman Chris Wade punched an RBI single into center
field for a 9-5 count and a fielder’s choice by freshman Bryan Rose allowed
Wilkes to come in. Kentucky
scored again during Rose’s stolen base, when Tignor’s
relay throw bounced off the base-runner and Howe raced home to trim UF’s lead to 9-7.
In the eighth, Pisani
reached on an error and was sacrificed to second by Tignor
before Barnes collected his fourth hit with a drag bunt up the first-base line.
With runners on the corners, den Dekker lofted a sac fly to left for a 10-7
Gator advantage. UK
misplayed Adams’ two-out infield fly and
Barnes scored for a four-run lead. Barnes later closed the scoring barrage in
the ninth with a two-run triple that drove in freshman pinch runner Chris Freshcorn (Tampa, Fla.)
Florida held a
14-11 edge in hits, with its bottom two hitters in the lineup, Barnes and Tignor, a combined 8-for-11 with five runs and four RBI.
Carroll was 3-for-5 to pace UK’s
offense. Junior left-hander Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.)
(2-2, 3.57) will start tomorrow’s finale at 1 p.m. against Wildcat senior
righty Greg Dombrowski (4-0, 3.32). The game will air
live on Cox Sports.