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Monday April 15, 2013Florida Baseball Travels To Fort Myers On Tuesday To Face FGCU

Gainesville, Fla.

Riding a season-high five-game winning streak, Florida (19-18) will head to Fort Myers on Tuesday for its fourth meeting of the season against FGCU (20-12). The Gators and Eagles will play at Hammond Stadium, the Minnesota Twins’ spring training home that is also used by the Fort Myers Miracle minor league club. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

 

Jeff Cardozo and Adam Schick will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network. Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.

 

The Gators notched a weekend sweep of No. 8 South Carolina (3-2, 4-3, 14-5). It marked only the fourth time in school history that Florida swept South Carolina in a regular-season series and the first time since 2009. UF’s total of 11 wins over top-25 teams leads the SEC and is four more than any other league squad.

 

Sophomore right-hander Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (3-1, 2.13) saved the first two wins over the Gamecocks, both by a run. Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) was 6-for-9 (.667) in the series against South Carolina, scored a team-best six runs and became the first UF player to have two doubles in the same inning since Billy Minnis against Alabama on March 19, 1989, when he had a pair of two-baggers during the 10-run sixth-inning outburst in the finale. Ramjit leads the Orange and Blue with a .377 average in SEC play.

 

Named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday afternoon, Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) hit .444 (4-for-9) in the Gators’ three victories over the Gamecocks, with a team-leading four RBI and was 2-for-2 on the basepaths. UF exploded for 10 runs on eight hits in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 stalemate en route to a 14-5 victory over USC on Saturday. Florida has taken eight of its last 10 contests to move over the .500 plateau for the first time since Feb. 20, when it was 3-2.

 

Bader delivered a two-run, two-out single in the eighth as Florida rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the inning to notch a 4-3 triumph on Friday night. With the win, the Gators reached the .500 mark for the first time since March 9 and clinched their second SEC series win of the season. Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-4) started UF’s decisive rally with a base-hit up the middle, sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) delivered a single into center field for two runners aboard with one down and Ramjit walked to load the bags. Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) then narrowed the gap to 3-2 with an RBI grounder that brought home Turgeon. Bader moved the Gators in front by slicing a 1-1 offering into left field that brought across Shafer and Ramjit to give the hosts a 4-3 advantage. With Gamecocks on second and third base in the ninth, Magliozzi had a game-ending strikeout to nail down his eighth save in nine opportunities.

 

Florida threw out sophomore TJ Costen diving back to third base for the final out to seal a 3-2 victory on Thursday night. With Costen on second base and two down, senior Chase Vergason had punched a single into right field off of Magliozzi. As Costen was coming around third base, he slipped as the relay throw came in from redshirt freshman right fielder Cory Reid (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) to sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.), who fired a bullet to Tobias, who prevented Costen from reaching the bag and ended the game. Junior RHP Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (2-5, 4.17) yielded two runs over 6.2 innings and had five strikeouts to pick up his second win in league play.

 

Quick Hits About the Gators

·         FGCU swept a weekend series from Florida in Gainesville between Feb. 22-24 by scores of 8-2, 8-3 and 7-4 in 11 innings.

·         Tuesday’s matchup will mark the second time that the Gators and Eagles have met at Hammond Stadium, as UF posted a 12-3 win on April 21, 2009.

·         Nine of the 10 meetings in the all-time series have been held at McKethan Stadium, where Florida holds a 5-4 advantage.

·         UF is riding the momentum generated by a win over No. 7 Florida State last Tuesday and a three-game sweep of SEC Eastern Divsion rival No. 8 South Carolina over the weekend in McKethan Stadium.

·         Saturday’s 14-5 victory over the Gamecocks pushed the Gators over the .500 mark for the first time since February 20, when they were 3-2.

·         In the Gators’ five-game winning streak, the team is hitting .301 with a 3.20 ERA and boasts a fielding percentage of .995 (one error).

·         Offensive leaders in the skein include Bader (.412, 6 R, 4 RBI), Ramjit (.412, 7 R, 2 2B) and Tobias (.385, 5 RBI, 2 R).

·         Bader was tabbed as the SEC’s Freshman of the Week for the first time in his career after hitting .462 (6-for-13) in the Gators’ 4-0 stretch.

·         Ramjit was a sizzling .667 (6-for-9) in the set with six runs and a pair of doubles in the sixth inning of the finale against the Gamecocks.

·         Tied at four runs apiece in the sixth, the Gators erupted for 10 runs on eight hits, marking the first time in eight years they had reached double-digit runs in a frame. UF sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning and its first 10 hitters reached base, eight via a hit.

·         Junior LHP Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) (2-0, 2.05) collected his first two wins of the campaign over No. 7 FSU on April 9 and No. 8 South Carolina on April 13. He has not been scored upon in his last eight outings spanning 14.1 innings.

·         UF has played the toughest schedule to date in the nation, as its opponents have a combined record of 867-364 (.704).

·         The Gators are 5-5 away from Gainesville this season, 5-4 (.556) in a foe’s home stadium and 0-1 at a neutral site (2-1 loss to Florida State in Jacksonville on March 26).

·         Magliozzi (3-1, 2.13) saved the first two wins over South Carolina, each by a run. Over 38 innings this season, the righty has totaled 28 strikeouts and issued just five walks, with eight saves in nine opportunities and an opponent batting average of .206.

·         Since freshman Richie Martin has been starting in center field, Florida is a perfect 5-0.

·         The Gators are 11-8 (.579) when playing error-free baseball this year, including five of the past six outings.

·         Twenty-one of UF’s 37 contests this spring have come against ranked teams and the squad’s 11 wins over top-25 is the most in the SEC.

 

Series Nuggets

After the Gators had captured six of the seven previous meetings with FGCU, the Eagles notched a three-game sweep at McKethan Stadium from Feb. 22-24 in the second weekend series of 2013. Kevin O’Sullivan is 6-4 (.600) against the Eagles, 5-4 (.556) in Gainesville and 1-0 (1.000) at a neutral site in Fort Myers.

 

Series Recap

Florida fell to FGCU by scores of 8-2, 8-3 and 7-4 in 11 innings from Feb. 22-24 to suffer its first home series loss to a non-conference team since the 2009 season. Redshirt sophomore 3B Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) led the Gators with a 4-for-10 (.400) weekend against the Eagles, while Martrin was 5-for-13 (.385).

 

Freshman RHP Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) made his collegiate starting debut in game three and gave up six hits and two runs, with three strikeouts, over 3.0 IP. Freshman RHP Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) made his second-straight weekend start on Saturday and was on the hook for the defeat after permitting three hits and two runs over 4.2 innings. After FGCU was held hitless by Crawford over 5.1 innings on Friday night, the Eagles turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead with a homer and later tacked on five more runs in the eighth to snap a four-game slide to the Gators. Ramjit drove in both runs for Florida with two sacrifice flies. The Gators were held to a .235 (24-for-102) average over the three games and their pitching staff’s ERA was 7.14.

 

 

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