Saturday March 5, 2011No. 1 Baseball One-Hits No. 24 Miami, 1-0
Senior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) came through with a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning to drive in senior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) with the game’s only run as No. 1 Florida (9-1) edged No. 24 Miami (4-6), 1-0, on Saturday afternoon in front of 4,851 fans at McKethan Stadium.
The duo of sophomore Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) and junior Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) (2-0) combined to one-hit the Hurricanes and notched the Gators’ first shutout of Miami since Feb. 13, 2004 (3-0 in Coral Gables). It marked just the seventh time in the 226-game history of the series that Florida had held the Hurricanes scoreless and the first time in Gainesville since Feb. 20, 1994 (5-0). UF’s third shutout of the season, matching last year’s total in 64 games, clinched the weekend series between the rivals and increased its home winning streak to 23 games. Oddly enough, the last 1-0 contest between UF-UM occurred on April 27, 1971, a win for the Hurricanes.
In the home part of the eighth with zeroes all across the board, Adams drew a lead-off walk that prompted a pitching change. Over a career-long seven-plus innings, sophomore righty E.J. Encinosa (0-2) allowed five hits and had three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Soon after, sophomore Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) greeted junior Sam Robinson with a sacrifice bunt that pushed Adams to second base. Smith was called into service as a pinch hitter for the first time all season to bat for sophomore Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and delivered an RBI single into right center to provide the Gators with the winning margin.
“It was one of those days where Hudson (Randall) needed to match them pitch-for-pitch, because their pitcher (E.J. Encinosa) did an outstanding job,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought their defense played well and I thought (Harold) Martinez did a really nice job at third base. Encinosa was sharp early on and he had a really good sinker going today. He threw just enough sliders to open up the outer half of the plate and expanded the plate on us. You have to tip your cap. It was one of those games that you had a feeling midway through that it was going to come down to a run or two here at the end.”
“It was a clutch situation,” Smith said. “I knew that I had to see a ball up and knew I had to drive it and that’s what I did. The key with pressure is that you have to stay relaxed and stay within yourself and that’s what I did.”
DeSclafani retired Miami in order in the ninth, finishing the contest with consecutive strikeouts of sophomore Zeke DeVoss and freshman Shane Rowland to secure the Gators’ fifth-straight triumph over the Hurricanes.
Randall retired the first seven Hurricanes of the contest before plunking freshman Dale Carey with one down in the third. The right-hander struck out sophomore Stephen Perez before Carey moved into scoring position with his first career stolen base. Randall had DeVoss fly out to left field to end the inning.
Freshman Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) opened the bottom of the frame with a double down the right-field line off Encinosa and UM’s hurler responded by setting down the next two Gator batters. After issuing a walk to Washington, Encinosa had junior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) ground out to keep the game scoreless.
Junior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (2-for-3) extended his hitting streak to nine games with a lead-off double in the fifth and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Powers. Encinosa induced a grounder by Adams that Miami converted into a double play, as junior third baseman Harold Martinez tagged out Pigott at third and fired across the diamond to beat Adams to the bag to complete the stanza.
Randall had a stretch of eight-straight Hurricanes set down before yielding a single up the middle by Carey to start the sixth that was the visitors’ lone hit of the afternoon. Perez advanced his teammate with a sacrifice bunt and a grounder by DeVoss moved Carey to third base. However, Randall had Rowland hit a tapper back to the mound that ended the inning.
Washington reached on an infield hit with one down in the bottom of the sixth and went to second when Encinosa was charged with a two-out balk. Although sophomore Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) was hit by a pitch for two Gators aboard, Encinosa responded with a strikeout of sophomore Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) to send the game into the seventh scoreless.
Pigott singled with one down in the seventh but Encinosa had Powers hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Randall departed after seven scoreless innings in which he allowed one hit, with five strikeouts and zero walks. In 18 innings on the mound this year, the righty has not permitted any free passes. DeSclafani came in and put the Hurricanes down in order, eventually retiring all six UM hitters he faced. Florida held a 6-1 advantage in hits and neither team committed any errors, with Miami turning three double plays.
Freshman Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) (2-0, 0.87) will oppose UM sophomore Eric Whaley (2-0, 2.13) in tomorrow’s finale that begins at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on Sun Sports. For all of the latest information on Florida baseball, log on to http://www.gatorzone.com/baseball/ or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team’s Twitter account @GatorZoneBB at www.twitter.com/GatorZoneBB.
· The last one-hitter by the Gators occurred on May 5, 2002, by Keith Ramsey against Mississippi State.
· The victory clinched Florida’s first regular-season series win over the Hurricanes at McKethan Stadium since the 2007 season.
· Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan improved his mark to 9-6 against Miami and is 6-3 in Gainesville.
· Daniel Pigott’s career-long hitting streak of 12 games was from April 9-May 8, 2010.
· Pigott’s fourth double matched Preston Tucker for the team lead and he now has six multiple-hit games this year.
· The most recent last at bat win before this afternoon for the Gators was on June 12, 2010, when Austin Maddox had an RBI double that scored Nolan Fontana in the top of the 10th as UF defeated Miami, 4-3, in the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional Game 2.
· Hudson Randall’s seven-inning stint was the longest by a Gator starting pitcher this season.
· Before today, the last time that Gators won a 1-0 game was on March 31, 2001, at Vanderbilt.
· Anthony DeSclafani (2-0) equaled his 2010 win total, when he was 2-3.