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Saturday May 1, 2010No. 6 Baseball Downs No. 9 LSU, 7-3

Gainesville, Fla.

Freshman Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) limited No. 9 LSU (32-11/11-8 SEC) to one run over eight innings and was supported by an offense that totaled 11 hits as No. 6 Florida (29-11/13-6 SEC) posted a 7-3 victory over the Tigers in Saturday’s regularly-scheduled game at McKethan Stadium. The teams will now complete Friday’s series opener, which was suspended with UF holding a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.

 

Randall (5-3) established a career high with seven strikeouts and scattered seven hits while working eight innings for the second time this year. The righty went the same distance during the rubber game at Tennessee on April 11 which the Gators won, 9-1. Senior Jeff Barfield (Perry, Ga.) pitched the ninth and allowed a two-run homer to junior Leon Landry (3-for-4) to finalize the four-run margin.

 

Sophomore Mikie Mahtook (2-for-4) launched Randall’s first pitch of the game into the left-field bleachers for his 11th homer. Sophomore Austin Nola (2-for-4) followed with a base-hit into left field before Randall rebounded to set down the next three Tigers.

 

In the bottom of the inning, freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (2-for-2, two walks) drew a leadoff walk but was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by junior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville , Ga.). Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) advanced Smith with a grounder but sophomore Chris Matulis (5-2) had freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville , Fla.) (1-for-4) fly out to right field.

 

Landry opened the second with a single into center and stole second base, his 15th theft of the season. Randall pitched out of trouble by having freshman Alex Edward ground out before notching consecutive strikeouts of sophomore Grant Dozar and sophomore Tyler Hanover.

 

The Gators evened the score at 1-1 in the home part of the inning on a sacrifice fly by senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (1-for-2, 2 RBI). Sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) raised his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with a leadoff single and freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (2-for-4) sliced a one-out single into right field for runners on the corners. The elder Pigott then brought home his brother with his first sac fly of the campaign. Zunino swiped his seventh stolen base and junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) Zunino drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with two down. Matulis had Smith fly out to left field to keep the contest tied.

 

Senor Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2-for-4) came through with a clutch two-out single up the middle to score Daniel Pigott for a 2-1 Florida lead in the third. Matulis registered two outs and Pigott ripped a double just out of Dozar’s reach at third base.

 

Junior Micah Gibbs started the fourth with a walk and Landry collected his second hit with a single through the left side of the infield. Randall induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play from Edward to close the inning.   

 

Florida tacked on two more runs in the fourth to build a 4-1 lead. Jonathan Pigott led off with a walk, Adams stroked a base-hit into left and Fontana legged out a bunt single to load the bases with none out. Matulis issued a walk to Smith to bring home Pigott for a 3-1 advantage. A fielder’s choice by Tucker forced Adams at the dish for the first out and Maddox had an RBI fielder’s choice to score Fontana for a three-run margin.

 

The Gators boosted their advantage to 7-1 with three runs, three hits and a pair of sacrifice flies in the fifth. den Dekker led off the inning with single and moved over on his team-leading 14th stolen base. Zunino stroked a single into shallow left for runners on the corners and Jonathan Pigott delivered his fourth double to bring in den Dekker for a 5-1 lead. Matulis (4.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 BB) was replaced by junior Ben Alsup, who yielded a sacrifice fly to straightaway center field to drive in Zunino. Fontana followed with his first career sacrifice fly to score Pigott for a six-run lead. UF held an 11-9 edge in hits during the game and neither squad committed any errors.

 

Game Notes

·          The last time that a Gator opponent started a game with a homer was on March 3, 2007, when George Washington’s Michael Parker led off the second game of a doubleheader with a dinger.

·          Hudson Randall’s seven strikeouts eclipsed his previous best of six against Vanderbilt (April 4) and Tennessee (April 11).

·          The Gators had a season-high three sacrifice flies.

·          Four different UF players turned in multiple-hit outings.

 

-UF-

 

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