Friday April 9, 2010No. 8 Baseball Takes Opener At Tennessee, 4-2
Sophomore Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) worked a career-high eight innings to lead No. 8 Florida (22-7/7-3 SEC) past Tennessee (15-16/2-8 SEC), 4-2, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Friday night. The left-hander (6-1) gave up six hits and two runs to pick up the win, while junior Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) collected his sixth save by registering the final three outs. Sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) drove in a pair of runs as the Gators kicked off their eight-game road trip with their first series-opening win in Knoxville since April 12, 2002.
The Gators used a sacrifice fly by Daniel Pigott off junior Bryan Morgado (2-4) in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville , Fla.) opened the frame with a base-hit into left field and moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) advanced Maddox with a fly ball to the warning track and Pigott’s pop-up in foul territory was caught on sliding catch by freshman right fielder Chris Fritts, enabling Maddox to come across with the initial run.
In the bottom of the inning, Tennessee answered on an RBI double by junior Cody Hawn off Panteliodis that brought in junior Matt Duffy with the tying run. Duffy had poked a one-out single and scored on Hawn’s sixth two-bagger into right center.
A two-out triple into the right-field corner by Dnaiel Pigott in the fourth inning gave the Gators a 2-1 advantage. Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by Maddox. den Dekker’s grounder forced Maddox with the second out and Pigott rifled his first triple of the season to bring around his teammate from first base.
UF added a pair of runs in the fifth to build a 4-1 lead. Senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach , Fla.) (2-for-4) and freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) started things off with back-to-back singles and freshman Nolan Fontana’s (Winter Garden, Fla.) sacrifice attempt was thrown away by junior catcher Blake Forsythe, allowing Pigott to score and the runners to occupy second and third. Tucker delivered an RBI single into left field to bring in Zunino but was thrown out trying to extend the hit into a double and Maddox flew out down the left-field line to close the frame.
Panteliodis retired 14-straight Vols before junior Josh Liles sliced a leadoff single to begin the home part of the seventh. However, left fielder Jonathan Pigott fired a bullet to junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) at second base for Florida’s first outfield assist of the season. Panteliodis retired the next two batters to close the frame.
Sophomore Matt Ramsey singled with one down in the eighth, moved to second on a grounder by senior pinch hitter Cody Grisham and went to third on a wild pitch. Panteliodis stranded the runner by having sophomore Zach Osborne ground out to second base.
Over seven innings, Morgado gave up five hits and four runs, with eight strikeouts and three walks. Redshirt junior D.J. Leffler retired all five batters he faced before freshman Alan Walden permitted a two-out ninth-inning single to Jonathan Pigott, who was thrown out trying to steal second.
A leadoff single in bottom of the ninth by junior Khayyan Norfolk prompted a pitching change, as senior Jeff Barfield (Perry, Ga.) replaced Panteliodis. Junior P.J. Polk (2-for-4) ripped a base-hit into left field, summoning junior Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) from the bullpen. Liles moved his teammates into scoring position with a groundout to first base and Forsythe had an RBI grounder to narrow the gap to 4-2. Chapman had Duffy ground out to end the game to collect his sixth save.
The Vols held a 7-6 edge in hits and each team left four runners on base. Freshman Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) (3-1, 3.09) will start the second game of series tomorrow at 4 p.m. against UT senior right-hander Stephen McCray (3-33, 2.08). The contest will be shown live on Fox Sports Florida.