Saturday May 18, 2013Georgia Takes Series Over Florida Baseball, 9-2
Georgia (21-32/7-20 SEC) scored multiple runs in three different innings to defeat Florida (29-27/14-16 SEC), 9-2, to claim the weekend series between the Eastern Division rivals on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field. The Bulldogs used a 14-hit offensive surge and three home runs to subdue the Gators in the teams’ regular-season finale. With today’s result, UF earned the eighth seed for the 2013 SEC Tournament and will begin play on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET in Hoover, Ala., versus ninth-seeded Texas A&M (30-25/13-16 SEC).
Although the Bulldogs loaded the bases in the first inning against freshman right-hander Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0-4), they came away empty-handed. Sophomore Nelson Ward (2-for-5) led off with a single up the middle but was erased on a fielder’s choice by senior Curt Powell (2-for-5). Another fielder’s choice by sophomore Hunter Cole forced Powell at second base before senior Kyle Farmer (3-for-5) had a base-hit into center field and sophomore Jared Walsh (1-for-2, two RBI) walked to fill the bags. Hanhold escaped the jam with a strikeout of senior Brett DeLoach.
Georgia used four straight hits in the second frame to build a 3-0 advantage. Sophomore Heath Holder had a one-out single into center field and scored on a double down the left-field line by sophomore Justin Bryan (2-for-4, three RBI, two runs). Ward plated Bryan with a run-scoring single into right field and Powell delivered a two-bagger into the gap in right center to put the hosts up by three runs.
The Gators countered with a pair of runs on three hits in the third to pull within 3-2. Freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a grounder by senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and went to third on a wild pitch from Walsh. Freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (2-for-5) put the Gators on the scoreboard with an RBI single into right center and took second on a wild pitch before sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) roped a single up the middle that narrowed the gap to 3-2. Freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) gave UF a pair of runners aboard with two down and Walsh had senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) pop out in foul territory to complete the frame.
Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) replaced Hanhold (2.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R) prior to the Bulldogs’ third at bat and registered the first two outs before yielding a single into center field by freshman Daniel Nichols.
Florida mounted a two-out rally in the fourth, as Roberson singled into center field and Dent earned a free pass. After a long at bat with Martin, Walsh had the rookie ground out to second base to preserve UGA’s lead.
Bryan led off the home part of the stanza with his third homer of the campaign over the right-field wall to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead. A one-out single by Powell brought sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) in for Young (1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R). After Powell stole second, Harris struck out Cole for the second out. However, Farmer came through with an RBI single into center field that provided Georgia with a 5-2 margin.
Georgia tacked on four runs, highlighted by back-to-back homers in the seventh, for a 9-2 lead. Harris (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) surrendered a one-out single to Farmer and was replaced by junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.). Walsh greeted the reliever with a two-run homer to left field that increased Georgia’s lead to 7-2. It was his third big fly of the campaign. DeLoach followed with another round-tripper to left field, his fifth of ’13, for an 8-2 score and a double by Nichols prompted another call to the bullpen, as freshman Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) took over for Gibson (3 H, 3 R). A grounder by Holder pushed Nichols to third and the Bulldogs tallied their ninth run on an RBI grounder by Bryan.
The Gators will return to action on Tuesday at the SEC Tournament against Texas A&M, a club they did not face this season. Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert 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.