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Saturday March 2, 2013Florida Baseball Scores Four Runs In 8th to Even Series With No. 21 Miami, 6-4

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida (4-7) rallied from a 3-2 deficit with four runs in the eighth inning to defeat No. 21 Miami (10-1), 6-4, on Saturday night at McKethan Stadium to square the teams’ weekend series. Sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) was 2-for-3 with a season-high three RBI for the Gators, highlighted by a go-ahead, two-run single with the bases loaded that helped UF end its six-game losing streak. With the potential tying run at the plate for Miami in the ninth, sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (1-0) had junior Brad Fieger fly out to center field to end the contest.  


“This team needed something good to happen,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Obviously, we scored four in the eighth inning, but we hung in there all game – we made some big pitches when we needed to and I thought Tucker [Simpson] gave us a quality start. He ran his pitch count up there a little bit, but then Ryan Harris came in and did a really nice job and we got Mags [Johnny Magliozzi] in there and he did a nice job, as well.”


“It was a tough night to hit – it was chilly and we were facing a really good pitcher in [Javi] Salas. He has a good sinker so he’s hard to elevate, and it was just one of those nights. I’m really proud of our team. We battled and hung in there and obviously we needed this one. I want them to enjoy this one because it’s been frustrating for everybody, but like I told the team in the end, ‘losing is contagious and so is winning,’ so, we’re going to build on this one and come out ready to play tomorrow.”


“I felt relaxed,” Gushue said about his key two-run single. “I wasn't trying to do too much. That's the biggest thing to do in those situations, you can't try to do too much; just try to put a good swing on the ball and that's what happened. Today was a good game; I can’t really ask for anything more. But, tomorrow is a completely different day and we want that one tomorrow."


Trailing 3-2 entering the home part of the eighth, the Gators plated four runs on two hits and two wild pitches to take a 6-3 lead. Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (1-for-3, two runs) led off with a walk from junior AJ Salcines (2-1) and sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) followed with a bloop double into center field to increase his hitting streak to nine games. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) (1-for-3, two runs) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out and Gushue drove in Turgeon and Shafer with a base-knock into right field. Junior Adam Sargent came in for Salcines (1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R) and uncorked a wild pitch that brought in Powers. Sophomore pinch hitter Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) pushed Gushue to third with a sacrifice bunt and Gushue scored on a wild pitch by Sargent to put the Gators ahead by three runs.


Magliozzi recorded the first two outs of the ninth before surrendering a double to senior Chantz Mack (2-for-5, two runs). Freshman David Thompson (2-for-3) brought the Hurricanes within 6-4 with a double that scored Mack and Magliozzi secured the victory for the Gators by having Fieger fly out.


Senior Alex San Juan opened the second inning for the Hurricanes with a double into left field and freshman Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) countered with strikeouts of senior Michael Broad and junior Dale Carey before having freshman Brandon Lopez ground out.


Miami had runners on the corners in the third, as sophomore Alex Fernandez drew a one-out walk and Thompson legged out an infield single with down. However, Simpson had Fieger line out to Turgeon to keep the contest scoreless.


In the home part of the inning, freshman Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) earned a free pass with one out after UM junior Javi Salas had retired the first eight Gators of the contest. Freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) raised his hitting streak to nine games with a two-out single into center field and has now reached base in all 11 outings of his collegiate career. Salas struck out Turgeon to complete the inning.


Lopez delivered a two-out RBI single in the fourth inning that brought across Broad with the game’s opening run. Broad had beat out a single to third base with one down and moved into scoring position with his first stolen base of the season. Simpson fanned Carey for the second out and the next batter, Lopez, sent a 2-2 pitch into center field to give the visitors the advantage. Simpson answered with his fifth strikeout by setting down junior Tyler Palmer.


The Gators evened the score in the home part of the frame on a sacrifice fly by Gushue. Powers had a one-out single into left field then advanced to third base on an errant pickoff throw by Salas. Gushue tied the game with his second sacrifice fly of the campaign.


Miami scored twice in the fifth to seize a 3-1 lead. Hernandez and Mack had back-to-back singles and Thompson’s sacrifice bunt attempt was thrown away by Powers, enabling Hernandez to score and Mack to reach third base. A wild pitch by Simpson gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead when Mack came across. Simpson (4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB) struck out Fieger and was replaced by sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.), who had San Juan ground out and then Broad fly out.


Turgeon pulled the Gators within 3-2 in the sixth courtesy of a leadoff homer into the visiting bullpen. It was his second dinger of the season and the first for Florida since going yard twice at UCF on Feb. 19.


After Harris retired the side in order for the second time in a row, Salcines took over for Salas (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER) prior to UF’s seventh and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) began the frame with a single into left field. Sophomore pinch hitter Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) hit into a 5-4-3 double play and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) followed with a pinch-hit single into right field. Salcines had Martin fly out to right field to preserve the Hurricanes’ 3-2 lead.


Fieger started the eighth with a single into left field and Harris retired the next two batters before hitting Carey. Magliozzi was called upon to replace Harris (3.1 IP, 1 H) and had Lopez fly out to center field.


The Gators and Hurricanes will wrap up their series tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and will be streamed live on GatorVision.


Game Notes

·         With the win, the Gators snapped a six-game losing streak.

·         UF improved to 3-0 in two-run games this season.

·         Florida has won 12 of its last 13 meetings against Miami.

·         Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan is now 16-7 in his Florida career against Miami.

·         Starting pitcher Tucker Simpson set a new career-high with six strikeouts Saturday night against Miami.

·         The six strikeouts for Simpson is also the most for a Gator in an outing this season.

·         UF didn't get its first base-runner until Kevin Stypulkowski walked with one out in the bottom of the third inning.

·         Freshman Richie Martin extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-out single in the third inning.

·         Martin has reached base safely in all 11 games this season.

·         With a single in the fourth inning, Zack Powers extended his hitting streak to four straight games.

·         Sophomore Casey Turgeon hit his second home run of the year with a lead-off blast to right field in the sixth inning. Turgeon's home run total is good for second on the team.

·         Turgeon's homer was the first for the Gators since Vickash Ramjit and Zack Powers both went deep against UCF on Feb. 19.

·         Turgeon's home run was also the first extra base-hit of the series with Miami.

·         Taylor Gushue's two-out single in the sixth pushed his current hitting streak to four games.

·         After coming into the game in relief, pitcher Ryan Harris sat down the first eight batters he faced.

·         Harris tallied two strikeouts on the night and has now had five strikeouts in his last two outings.

·         Simpson's final line for the night: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

·         With his fifth double of the season, Justin Shafer pushed his hitting streak to nine games in the eighth inning Saturday night.

·         Shafer went 1-for-4 on the night with a double and now has six hits in 12 at-bats (.500) against the Hurricanes in his career.

·         Taylor Gushue's 2-for-4 night against Miami is his second multi-hit game of the season and seventh of his career. It's also his second multi-RBI game of the season and sixth of his career.

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