Florida sophomore right-hander Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) threw five scoreless innings to notch his
first victory and the No. 22 Gators (29-18) withstood a five-run ninth inning
for an 11-10 win over Bethune-Cookman (33-20) on
Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium. Trailing 11-1, the
Wildcats scored three runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and used a grand
slam by senior Osvaldo Torres in the ninth to pull to
within a run. The triumph matched UF’s win total from
the 2007 campaign, when the squad finished 29-30, and improved the Orange and Blue to 21-0
all-time against Bethune-Cookman.
“It was one of those nights where we were hoping to get a good
lead and be able to use a few of the guys we haven’t been able to use in awhile
to rest our pen,” head coach Kevin
O’Sullivan said. “Ultimately, we were able to do that. The end result was
exactly what we wanted - we got the win. We didn’t want it to be that close at
the end but the bottom line is that we had a chance to rest (Tommy) Toledo, (Tony) Davis, and
a couple of the guys who have been pitching quite a lot.”
“Overall, we accomplished what we wanted to,” O’Sullivan
continued. “We didn’t want it to be this close, but this time of year a win’s a
win. (Kyle) Mullaney commanded the fastball well and
had some good damage control.”
out to a 3-0 lead in the third off junior Christopher Chapman (2-3) courtesy of
three hits and an error. Sophomore Clayton
Fla.) (2-for-3, three runs) led
off with a single into left, moved to second on a wild pitch and sophomore Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.)
(2-for-2, two runs) walked. Junior Avery
Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
tapped the ball back to Chapman but the pitcher had an errant throw trying to
force Pisani at third that allowed the runner to
score. Freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.)
(2-for-4) stroked an RBI single into left to bring across Tignor
and sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
followed with a fielder’s choice that plated Barnes.
Tignor delivered a run-scoring
single in the fourth that put the Gators up by four runs. Pisani
collected his second hit with one down, went to second on a wild pitch and came
home on Tignor’s knock up the middle. Chapman worked 3.1
innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (two earned), before being replaced
by freshman Roman Lancara.
A wild pitch by Lancara
allowed Figueroa to scamper home in the fifth with another run. Figueroa had
started the frame with a walk, swiped second and advanced to third on a fly out
by senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.).
departed after five shutout innings in which he permitted three hits, with
three walks and three strikeouts. Senior Neal Jones cranked his fourth homer of
the year with two down in the sixth off sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.)
to narrow the gap to 5-1.
The Gators countered with six runs on four hits in
the home part of the sixth to build an 11-1 margin. Sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.)
opened with a base-hit into right, Pisani was hit by
a pitch and Tignor singled to fill the sacks with
none out. Pigott scored on a passed ball and a walk
to Barnes re-loaded the sacks and prompted a pitching change. Junior Concepcion
Guzman took over for Lancara (1.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R) and issued back-to-back one-out walks to Figueroa and
McArthur for an 8-1 score. Townsend smacked an infield hit to collect an RBI
and sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) greeted freshman
reliever Joseph Munoz with a two-run single to give Florida a 10-run bulge.
Allen (Milton, Fla.) made his collegiate debut in the
seventh and surrendered three runs for an 11-4 count. Sophomore Justin Hoyte poked a one-out single and junior Patrick Jones was
hit by a pitch before Allen committed a balk to advance the runners. Junior
Jose Ortiz roped a two-run single into right, stole second and later scored on
a wild pitch by the right-hander. Torres bashed a solo shot off junior Michael Branham (Tampa, Fla.)
in the eighth to close B-CU’s gap to 11-5.
Down to their final three outs, the visitors loaded
the bases on three-consecutive singles against junior J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.)
to begin the stanza. Senior Josh
Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) was summoned from the bullpen and
had a grounder by junior Mark Brooks force a runner at
third as Hoyte came across. Moments later, Torres
stepped to the plate and launched his second four-bagger of the night to clear
the bases. It was his team-leading 12th homer. Edmondson retired the next two
Wildcats to close the game. Bethune-Cookman out-hit
the Gators by a 13-11 margin, led by a 3-for-4 effort by Hoyte.
Four different Florida players chipped in with
two hits apiece: Adams, Pisani, Tignor
and senior Jon Townsend (London,
to Tuscaloosa for a weekend series at Western
Division rival Alabama
(28-22/12-12 SEC). The Gators are currently fifth in the race for the SEC
Tournament, while the Crimson Tide is right behind in sixth.
In his last seven games, sophomore Cole
Figueroa is 10-for-24 (.417) with eight runs and eight RBI.
outscored its opponents, 43-16, in the 4th inning this season.
UF received a decision from its
starting pitcher for the first time since April 27 against Georgia.
The Gators have registered double-digit
hit totals in five-consecutive contests.
Florida improved to
10-4 (.714) in mid-week games and now holds a 5-2 record on Wednesdays.
Florida captured its first one-run game since a 3-2 victory over North Florida on April 9.