Saturday April 27, 2013Florida Baseball Works Extra To Defeat Tennessee and Clinch Series, 3-2
Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) delivered a fielder’s choice with none out and the bases loaded to score sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) with the winning run in the 10th inning to lift Florida (25-19/12-8 SEC) to a 3-2 victory over Tennessee (17-24/5-15 SEC) on Saturday night at McKethan Stadium. The Vols had tied the contest on a one-out RBI single in the ninth inning. With the Gators’ 11th triumph in their past 12 contests and ninth-straight home win, Kevin O’Sullivan’s squad secured its third-straight SEC series win and captured its fifth-consecutive series against UT.
Turgeon (2-for-4, two runs) led off Florida’s 10th with a base-hit up the middle off of freshman Trevor Bettencourt (2-3) and raced to third on sophomore Taylor Gushue’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) (2-for-4) double into right field. After sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) was walked intentionally, Powers hit a 0-2 pitch to Vol freshman shortstop A.J. Simcox, who tried to throw out Turgeon at the plate but was unsuccessful. Florida has now claimed five one-run decisions in a row. Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (4-1) earned the win in relief by working 2.1 innings.
“It was a total team effort tonight,” O’Sullivan acknowledged. “We started the game with runners on second and third with nobody out, and Jonathon [Crawford] goes strikeout, strikeout, strikeout, and we don’t give up a run there, which was huge. Daniel Gibson came in, gave us 2.1 innings and threw the ball really well. Ryan Harris did a really nice job. And, what can you say about Johnny Mags [Magliozzi]? He made good pitches, he had a couple of strikeouts with the bases loaded and he had a big strikeout with [David] Houser, a runner at second and only one out in the ninth. He just did an outstanding job and fought through it.”
“Offensively, [Harrison] Bader had an outstanding night – he had an RBI with two strikes on him. [Casey] Turgeon had a big night – leading off the bottom of the 10th [with a single] was huge. [Taylor] Gushue got to a 2-0 count and put a great swing on the ball. Zack [Powers] battled with two strikes there at the end. It’s a game of inches, and Turgeon was just safe and just beat the throw to home.”
“Once again, this team has been battling all year long and none of these games are easy. Tennessee has a lot of good, young players and their position players are going to be really good. It was just another SEC game and those are going to be like this – it comes down to a pitch here or a pitch there, a play here or a play there. We’re fortunate to get the win tonight and I’m very proud of our team with the way we battled.”
Sophomore Will Maddox (2-for-3) opened the game with a single up the middle and Simcox (3-for-4) sliced a double into left field to give Tennessee a pair of runners in scoring position against junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.). However, the righty countered with three-straight strikeouts of junior Scott Price, freshman Christin Stewart and junior Pierce Bily.
In the bottom of the frame, freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk from junior Nick Williams and Turgeon blooped a single into left field to put the Gators in business. Williams worked out of the jam by striking out Gushue and having Shafer ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Junior Taylor Smart drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and was sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by freshman David Houser. Crawford induced a groundout by freshman Derek Lance and walked Maddox intentionally with two down before issuing a free pass to Simcox that filled the bags. Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) was called upon to replace Crawford (4.2 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 3 BB) and had Price pop up to senior shortstop Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) to keep the contest scoreless.
Gushue broke the ice with a one-out double down the left-line in the sixth after Turgeon had drawn a walk. Gushue’s 12th two-bagger of the season gave him a team-high 30 RBI and boosted his hitting streak to seven games.
Gibson set down the Vols in order for the second-straight frame in the seventh inning and Florida took a 2-0 lead on an RBI single up the middle by freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (3-for-4). Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) had singled into left field with one out and went to second on the play on a throwing error by freshman Vincent Jackson. Bader ripped a single up the middle that scored Tobias, who slid into the catcher as the relay throw rolled away. A fly ball into right field by Dent advanced Bader to third base and a walk to Martin prompted a pitching change. Freshman Andy Cox took over for Williams (6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 5 K, 3 BB) and retired Turgeon on a fly ball in foul territory to hold the visitors’ deficit at two runs.
Maddox started the eighth with a walk and Gibson (2.1 IP, 1 R, 1 K, 1 BB) was replaced by sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.). The Vols worked a hit-and-run to perfection, as Simcox singled through the right side of the infield to push Maddox to third base. Price narrowed the gap to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly into left field and Harris responded with a strikeout of Stewart. Junior pinch hitter Ethan Bennett worked a walk on a full count and was replaced by sophomore pinch runner Parker Wormsley. Magliozzi came in for Harris (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB) and yielded an infield single to Jackson that loaded the bases with two down. The Gators’ closer induced a grounder by Smart that Tobias scooped up and threw over to second base to retire Jackson and preserve UF’s one-run advantage.
With the Vols down to their final two outs, Lance walked with one down and Maddox singled into center field before Simcox tied the game with an RBI single into left field. Price loaded the bags with a base-hit into right field and Magliozzi registered back-to-back strikeouts of Stewart and freshman pinch hitter Vance Vizcaino to keep the contest deadlocked at two runs apiece.
Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) opened the Gators’ ninth with a single into left field and moved to second on a grounder by Tobias. Bettencourt was called out of the bullpen for Cox (1.2 IP, 1 H) and Bader legged out an infield single for Gators on the corners. A fielder’s choice by Dent forced Bader at second base and Dent then took second base on catcher’s indifference. Bettencourt struck out Martin to send the game into extra innings.
In the 10th inning, Smart roped a one-out double into right field but was stranded there after Magliozzi struck out Houser and had Lance ground out to shortstop.
The Gators and Vols will wrap up the series tomorrow at 1 p.m., live on GatorVision, as sophomore left-hander Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (2-0, 3.94) will oppose UT senior Zack Godley (3-5, 2.99). The contest can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert, live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
· With tonight’s walk-off victory, the Gators improved to 4-3 in SEC series this spring.
· Florida has two walk-off wins in 2013; its first came against Jacksonville on March 6.
· For the sixth time this season, the Gators needed extra innings to decide the game. UF is now 2-4 in extra frames and has won its past two games in extras.
· Florida is 6-7 in one-run games this season and has won its last five.
· Sophomore Josh Tobias robbed Tennessee junior Taylor Smart of potential extra bases with a diving stop and relay throw in the second inning.
· Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers raised his hitting streak to a career-high eight games with a single to start the Gators’ second inning
· Junior Jonathon Crawford had a stretch where he retired 11-consecutive batters from the first through fourth innings.
· Freshman Harrison Bader matched his career-best with three hits against the Vols. It was his 13th multi-hit game.
· Bader recorded an RBI single in the seventh inning to extend Florida’s lead to 2-0.
· Sophomore Taylor Gushue hit a double in the bottom of the sixth inning to plate the first run for the Gators on Saturday night.
· Gushue now has 30 RBI for 2013, most on the team. In addition, he has at least one RBI in each of the past three games, his longest streak of the year.
· Gushue had another double in the bottom of the 10th inning. It marked the second time in his career he has at least two doubles and his career high is three.
· Classmate Casey Turgeon had two hits for the second-straight game. Turgeon has 13 multi-hit games in 2013.
· For the fourth time this season, Crawford struck out at least five batters. He leads the team in strikeouts with 52 on the year.