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Tuesday April 2, 2013Florida Baseball Comes From Behind To Down UCF, 5-3

Gainesville, Fla.

Trailing 3-2 with two outs in the seventh inning, Florida (14-16) tied the game on a fielding error and moved in front on a wild pitch during a 5-3 victory over UCF (18-12) on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. In winning their third-straight outing, the Gators had overcome a 2-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the sixth before the Knights seized a one-run advantage in the seventh. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (4-2) had a career-high four strikeouts over two innings to pick up the win, while sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to pocket his sixth save.

 

“It was a really good team win,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We got contributions from a lot of different players tonight. Obviously, [Daniel] Gibson came in and did an outstanding job, holding them scoreless for 4.1 innings, and I think that might be his fourth or fifth impressive outing in a row. Ryan [Harris] came in, he hasn’t been on the mound since last week, and he did a really nice job, and of course, Mags [Johnny Magliozzi] came in and did his thing once again.”

 

“We had some timely hitting – our first five hitters in the lineup had at least one hit tonight. We had good situational hitting, too. We were obviously helped with a couple of walks in the latter part of the game, but [Harrison] Bader’s at-bat signifies who we are. We had the bases loaded there and we needed one more run, and he put the ball in play firmly with two strikes. We played really good defense – we didn’t make any errors. Cody Dent put down a couple of really good bunts. Cory Reid had a nice drag [bunt] to start off the seventh. We did a lot of different things tonight well and it was certainly a win where a lot of players contributed.”

 

“Our bullpen is going to be huge for us,” sophomore Taylor Gushue said. “[Daniel] Gibson, [Ryan] Harris and [Johnny] Magliozzi threw awesome for us. We couldn’t really ask anything more from them. For them to be consistent is huge for our team. It is going to take us a long way.”

 

UCF scored two runs on three hits in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Junior Parker Webster (2-for-4) roped a ground-rule double off of freshman righty Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) that bounced over the left-field wall. Senior Jeramy Matos followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to open the scoring. Senior Austin Johnston moved Matos to third base with a double down the left-field line and sophomore Tommy Williams drew a walk to load the bases with one down. Simpson had senior Ryan Breen line out to center field and was replaced by junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.), who issued a walk to sophomore JoMarcos Woods to bring across Matos with the second run. Gibson then struck out sophomore James Vasquez to strand the runners.

 

The Knights threatened again in the third, as redshirt senior Erik Hempe had a leadoff single up the middle and went to third on a one-out single into left field by Webster. Gibson had Matos ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to hold the Gators’ deficit at 2-0.

 

Senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) legged on a bunt single to start the home part of the frame and sophomore Eric Skoglund had sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) hit into a 6-4-3 double play and then snared a popped up bunt by Bader to retire the side.

 

In the Gator fourth, Gushue walked on four pitches and sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) followed with a single into center field. Skoglund had senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) hit into a 5-3 double play, leaving Shafer on second base with two down. Hempe robbed reshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) of a hit with a diving catch in right field to complete the inning.

 

Senior Chris Taladay began the sixth with a single into left field for UCF and Gibson had Webster bounce into a 6-4-3 double play and Matos line out to Powers at third base.

 

The Gators knotted the game at 2-2 in the home part of the inning on a two-out RBI double off of the left-field wall by Ramjit. Turgeon had led off with a base-hit into right center field and went to second on a groundout by freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.). Gushue cut the Gators’ deficit in half with an RBI single into left field to score Turgeon and cause a pitching change. The base-knock extended Gushue’s hitting streak to six games. Freshman Zac Favre came in for Skoglund (5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R) and struck out Shafer before Ramjit’s second double of the season plated Gushue with the equalizer. Following an intentional walk to Powers, his second of the season, Favre had sophomore Mike Fahrman (Tampa, Fla.) ground out.

 

After Gibson threw a career-high 4.1 scoreless innings and yielded three hits, Harris took over on the mound in the seventh. The righty caught Johnston looking on strikes and Williams delivered a double into the left-field corner. Harris struck out Breen for the second out and Woods came through with an infield single to score Williams with the go-ahead run. Although Woods swiped second base, Harris fanned Vasquez to finish the frame.

 

Redshirt senior Chris Matulis (3-1) replaced Favre (0.2 IP, 1 H) at the outset of the stanza and redshirt freshman Cory Reid (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) beat out a bunt to lead off. Dent advanced his teammate with a sacrifice bunt and Turgeon was hit by a pitch for two Gators aboard with one down. A grounder by Bader pushed both Reid and Turgeon into scoring position and an error by Taladay at third base enabled Reid to come home with the tying run. Redshirt sophomore Spencer Davis took over for Matulis (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R) and uncorked a wild pitch that brought across Turgeon for a 4-3 Gator advantage. Shafer earned a free pass for two Gators on base and Davis walked Ramjit to fill the sacks. Sophomore Harrison Hukari was summoned from the bullpen and struck out Powers to hold the margin at 4-3.

 

Fahrman reached on a throwing error by Williams to start UF’s eighth and was replaced by freshman pinch runner Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.). Reid drew a walk and Dent advanced both of his teammates with a sacrifice bunt. Turgeon was hit for the second-straight plate appearance to load the bases and junior Danny Davis took the mound for Hukari (0.2 IP). Bader expanded the Gators’ lead to 5-3 by driving in Martin on a fielder’s choice. UCF held an 8-7 advantage in hits tonight, while Florida did not commit any errors.

 

The Gators return to SEC play on Friday night in the opener of a weekend series at No. 17 Mississippi State (24-8/3-6 SEC). The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be carried live on GatorVision and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network.

 

Game Notes

·         The Gators registered their eighth come-from-behind win this year.

·         With the 5-3 victory Tuesday night, Florida has won three-straight games.

·         The win completes the season-sweep over UCF, 2-0.

·         The Gators have won eight of the past 12 meetings with UCF.

·         Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is now 6-2 against UCF and 4-1 in Gainesville.

·         Freshman Harrison Bader had his fourth double of the season in the first inning against UCF Tuesday night.

·         With his single in the fourth inning, sophomore Justin Shafer extended his hitting streak to four games.

·         After coming into the game in relief, junior Daniel Gibson worked a career-high 4.1 innings.

·         For the fourth-straight appearance, Gibson did not yield a run.

·         Sophomore Casey Turgeon went 1-for-3 against the Knights on Tuesday night. The sophomore is now 4-for-12 (.300) against UCF in his career.

·         Sophomore Taylor Gushue extended his career-long hitting streak to six games after driving in Turgeon with a single in the sixth for the Gators' first run of the game.

·         Gushue stole his third base of the season in the sixth inning.

·         Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers was intentionally walked for the second time this season in the bottom of the sixth inning.

·         Two runs were scored by the Gators in the sixth inning, making it 29 runs in the sixth frame this season, the most for UF in any inning this season.

·         With his 1-for-3 performance tonight, senior Vickash Ramjit has gone 6-for-14 (.429) over the last four games.

·         All starters for the Gators reached base safely at least once during Tuesday night's game.

·         For the seventh-straight game, Florida tallied at least seven hits or more.

·         All five of UF's runs were scored in the sixth inning or later Tuesday night. This season, 82 of Florida's 143 runs have been scored in the sixth inning or later (57%).

·         Sophomore relief pitcher Ryan Harris set a new career-high with four strikeouts in his two innings pitched.

·         Harris was named the winning pitcher in the game for his fourth victory of the season.

·         After working a 1-2-3 ninth inning, sophomore Johnny Magliozzi secured his sixth save in seven opportunities this year.

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