Sunday May 2, 2010No. 6 Baseball Completes Sweep of No. 9 LSU, 13-6
Freshman Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) picked up the victory and belted his first career grand slam and senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) went 5-for-5 with four RBI and four runs as No. 6 Florida (31-11/15-6 SEC) finished a weekend sweep of No. 9 LSU (32-13/11-10 SEC), 13-6, on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. It was the Gators’ first regular-season sweep of the Bayou Bengals since 1996 and just their second over the Tigers in school history.
“LSU is a storied program and the defending national champs,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I think that any time you win three games against anybody in the SEC, you’ve got to feel good about it. We played well this weekend and we’re starting to gel a little bit. I like the way we’re swinging the bat up and down the lineup and the starting pitchers have been amazing.”
Johnson (4-2) worked 6.1 innings, giving up nine hits and three runs (two earned), with four strikeouts and zero walks and went 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI. He was supported by a Gator offense that banged out 16 hits, with all nine starters contributing at least one hit.
den Dekker provided the Gators with a quick 2-0
lead in the first inning with a towering two-run homer to right field off
sophomore All-American Matty Ott
(1-2), who was making his first career start. Freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter
“I don’t think I’ve had a 5-for-5 game in my career so it was nice today,” den Dekker said. “I was seeing the ball well and our team did a great job all weekend. These wins will help our confidence level.”
Freshman Austin Maddox (
LSU used back-to-back two-out doubles in the fourth by junior Leon Landry (3-for-5, two runs) and freshman Alex Edward (2-for-4, two RBI) to get on the board. Landry poked his eighth two-bagger into left center and Edward’s third double was just above den Dekker’s reach to score his teammate.
Florida answered with five two-out runs in the home part
of the inning, highlighted by Johnson’s first career grand slam, to build a
10-1 lead. Junior Josh Adams (
The Tigers used a two-out RBI single by Edward to pull to within 10-2 in the sixth. Senior Blake Dean reached on a fielding error by Maddox to begin the inning and Johnson retired the next two hitters. Landry sliced a single and Edward followed with a base-hit of his own to drive in Dean. Johnson stranded the pair of runners in scoring position by having sophomore Grant Dozar fly out.
With one down in the seventh, sophomore Mikie Mahtook (3-for-5, two RBI) singled into right field and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Sophomore Austin Nola delivered an RBI single for a 10-3 margin and a base-hit by Dean through the right side of the infield prompted a pitching change. Freshman Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) took over for Johnson (6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 K) and induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play by junior Micah Gibbs to prevent any further damage.
The Tigers tallied three runs on three hits in the eighth to narrow the gap to 10-6. Landry notched his third hit with a one-out single and a single with two down by Dozar brought in sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) for Rodriguez (1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R). The righty walked sophomore Tyler Hanover to fill the bags and uncorked a wild pitch to bring across Landry and advance the runners. Mahtook roped a two-run single into center field to narrow the gap to 10-6 before DeSclafani had a fielder’s choice by Nola force Mahtook to end the inning.
UF tacked on three runs on four hits in the eighth off
freshman Jordan Rittiner for a 13-6 edge.
The Gators return to action on Tuesday by hosting Bethune-Cookman (29-18/15-0 MEAC) at 6:30 p.m. The teams last met in the opening round of the NCAA Gainesville Regional lat May, when UF rallied for three runs in the ninth to post an 8-7 victory.
· The Gators batted .390 (39-for-100) over the three games and out-scored the Tigers, 28-14.
· The three-game series drew a season-high 11,833 fans to McKethan Stadium.
· Daniel Pigott extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a third-inning single.
· Matt den Dekker’s homer was his
first since April 16 at
· den Dekker is the team’s leader with 27 career dingers and 20 multiple-hit games this year.
· Four of Austin Maddox’s 13 homers have been of the three-run variety.
· The Florida freshman record for homers is 16, set by Jason Dill in 1998.