Sunday April 11, 2010No. 8 Baseball Takes Series Over Tennessee, 9-1
Freshman right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) held Tennessee (16-17/3-9 SEC) without a hit until the sixth inning and No. 8 Florida (23-8/8-4 SEC) erupted for a season-high seven runs in the sixth to cruise to a 9-1 victory in the rubber game of the weekend series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. It was the first time that the Gators captured a series in Knoxville since taking two of three contests during the 2002 campaign.
Over a career-high eight innings, Randall (3-3) limited the Vols to four singles and a run and matched his personal-best of six strikeouts. He was supported by an offense that banged out 13 hits, including seven doubles. Sophomore Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) (3-for-4, two runs) had a career-high three doubles and junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) jacked a three-run homer in the sixth when the contest was scoreless.
Randall retired the first eight hitters he faced before plunking senior Cody Grisham with two down in the third inning. The right-hander had a grounder by junior Khayyan Norfolk force Grisham at second to end the frame.
Florida exploded for seven runs on seven hits and a Tennessee error in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead, highlighted by a three-run homer to straightaway center field by Adams that opened the scoring. Sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) smashed a leadoff double and senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (3-for-5) stroked a base-hit into left field for runners on the corners. Mired in a 0-for-9 slump on the weekend, Adams sent senior Steven Gruver’s 2-0 offering out of the yard for his fifth homer and first since March 16 against Florida Gulf Coast. Weitzel delivered his second double of the game into the right-field corner with one down and was able to take third when sophomore Matt Ramsey fumbled the ball. Sophomore Will Locante replaced Gruver (5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R) and issued a walk to freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (2-for-4). Senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) delivered a single through the right side on a hit-and-run that scored Weitzel and enabled Fontana to reach third base. Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) cranked a double into left field to bring across Fontana and freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) ripped an infield single to plate den Dekker with the sixth run. Tucker raced home on a wild pitch by Locante for the seventh run.
Junior Blake Forsythe thwarted Randall’s bid for a no-hitter with a single up the middle to start the home part of the sixth and moved around the bases courtesy of two wild pitches from the righty. Sophomore Zach Osborne put the Vols on the board with a two-out RBI single for a 7-1 margin.
In the seventh, Adams reached on a dropped pop-up to begin the frame and Weitzel roped his third double of the afternoon for two runners in scoring position. It was the first time that a Gator had three two-baggers in a game since Jeff Corsaletti accomplished the feat against Nebraska on June 19, 2005, at the NCAA College World Series. In addition, Weitzel entered the game with two career doubles. Following a walk to Fontana, sophomore Dylan Hochevar (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) was replaced by junior D.J. Leffler. The reliever struck out den Dekker but uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Adams to score for an 8-1 cushion.
Fontana launched Florida’s season-high seventh double of the game with Weitzel aboard in the ninth to close the scoring at 9-1. Junior Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) registered the final three outs to complete the game. The Gators held a 13-6 advantage in hits and did not commit any errors for the second time in the series.
UF heads to Dick Howser Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to complete its regular-season series against Florida State. The Seminoles have captured two of three meetings this spring, winning in Tampa (10-2 on March 2) and Jacksonville (7-2 on March 30) and falling in Gainesville (8-5 on March 16).
· The last time Florida had won a series at Tennessee was between April 12 and 14, 2002 (15-1, 8-5 (10), 5-6).
· Eight of the Gators’ nine starters had at least one hit.
· UF’s seven doubles were its most since March 12, 2006, versus Harvard.
· Jerico Weitzel doubled to left field with one down in the third for his first two-bagger of the year and added two more in the sixth and seventh innings.
· Matt den Dekker was hit in his first two at bats during the first and third innings.