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Florida third baseman Josh Tobias, center, went 4-for-4 in Saturday's loss to Valparaiso.

Saturday June 1, 2013Valparaiso Ousts Florida From NCAA Bloomington Regional, 5-4


Florida third baseman Josh Tobias, center, went 4-for-4 in Saturday's loss to Valparaiso.

Fourth-seeded Valparaiso (32-27) overcame a 4-1 deficit with four runs in the seventh inning to eliminate third-seeded Florida (29-30), 5-4, from the 2013 NCAA Bloomington Regional on Saturday afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field.


The Crusaders will play the loser of tonightís winnerís bracket matchup between top-seeded Indiana (44-14) and second-seeded Austin Peay (46-13) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in another elimination game that will be carried on ESPN3.


With the Gators holding a 4-1 advantage, sophomore starter Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) had retired seven-straight Crusaders before senior Billy Cribbs opened the seventh with a single into center field. Junior Bryce Hara worked a walk and senior Andrew Bain blooped a single into left center that loaded the bags and prompted a pitching change.


Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) came in for Magliozzi (6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 6 K, 3 BB) and an error by sophomore third baseman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) on a grounder by sophomore Spencer Mahoney (1-for-3, two runs) enabled Cribbs to score for a 4-2 count. A walk to senior Tanner Vavra brought home Hara and another free pass to senior John Loeffler scored Bain with the tying run.


Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) replaced Gibson (2-1) and a fielderís choice by junior Chris Manning to second base drove in Mahoney for a 5-4 advantage for Valparaiso. After Manning stole second base, Harris fanned redshirt junior Andy Burns and had sophomore Mark Johnson foul out to freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) in left field to hold the Gatorsí deficit at one run.


Tobias (4-for-4) set a career-best with his fourth hit of the outing, a one-out single in the eighth inning into left field off of senior Kyle Wormington (6-7) and redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) followed with a walk. The righty responded with a strikeout of freshman pinch hitter Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Burns made a tremendous defensive play at third base to retire freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) and keep the Crusaders in front.


With the Gators down to their final three outs in the ninth, sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) started the frame with a walk and sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (3-for-5) stroked a single into left field. Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position and Wormington countered with a strikeout of sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.). Bader (2-for-5, two runs) battled in his at bat but grounded out to third base to complete the contest.†


Martin had opened the game with a single into center field and Turgeon walked on four pitches to put the Gators in business. However, senior right-hander Chris DeBoo (5.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R) worked out of the jam by striking out Shafer and having Ramjit and Gushue pop up.


Mahoney had provided Valparaiso with a quick lead in the home part of the frame with a one-out homer off of Magliozzi in the first inning. It was his first career round-tripper and was carried out of the park over the left-field fence by the swirling winds. Magliozzi countered with two strikeouts to finish the frame with three punch-outs.


Although Valparaiso loaded the bases with two down in the second inning, Magliozzi was able to put a zero on the board. Junior Elliott Martin had stroked a one-out double down the right-field line and Johnson grounded out to hold the runner. A wild pitch enabled Martin to take third base and Cribbs drew a walk before Hara was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Magliozzi induced an inning-ending grounder by Bain that kept the Gators down by just a run.


UF mounted a two-out rally in the third, as Shafer singled through the left side of the infield and Ramjit was plunked. DeBoo jammed Gushue on an infield fly to complete the stanza.


The Crusaders threatened again in the bottom of the stanza, putting runners on the corners with one down, but were unable to score. Mahoney started things off with a free pass and was sacrificed to second base on a bunt by Vavra. After Loeffler deposited a base-hit into right field that pushed Mahoney to third base, Magliozzi struck out Manning and Shafer made a running catch in foul territory on a fly ball by Martin to close the inning.


Florida erupted for five hits in the fourth, highlighted by a game-tying double by Tobias and a two-run double by senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.), to seize a 3-1 advantage. Bader led off with an infield single to raise his hitting streak to a career-high nine games and Tobias followed with his fifth two-bagger of the campaign to tie the contest. Powers sliced a single into right field that nudged Tobias to third base and Dent delivered a bases-clearing double to put the Orange and Blue on top. It was his third double and fourth extra-base hit of the season. After Martin popped up a bunt attempt, Turgeon poked a base-hit into right field to give Florida runners on the corners with one down. DeBoo prevented further issues by having Shafer ground into a 6-3 double play.


The Gators tacked on another run in the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single by Tobias for a 4-1 lead. With two down, Bader singled into right field and notched his team-leading 15th stolen base. Tobias then matched his career high of three hits in an outing with a base-knock into left field to give UF a three-run margin.


Game Notes

         Today was the first meeting on the diamond between the Gators and the Crusaders.

         Florida had a 13-6 advantage in hits, with multiple-hit outings from sophomore Josh Tobias (4-for-4), sophomore Justin Shafer (3-for-5) and freshman Harrison Bader (2-for-5).

         UF completed its sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament under Kevin OíSullivan by going 0-2 at the Bloomington Regional.

         The Gators left 11 runners on base this afternoon.

         Valparaiso turned a pair of double plays in the victory.

         Bader and classmate Richie Martin each reached base in the Gatorsí final 18 games of the season.


Postgame Quotes

Opening Statement†

COACH O'SULLIVAN: Congratulations to Valparaiso. I thought it was a well-played game; like yesterday, it was a one-run game. When you get to tournament† settings like this, it usually comes down to an at-bat here or a pitch there or a play there. Credit Valparaiso.


m pleased with how our guys battled back today from a tough loss yesterday but that's what happens in tournament play, it comes down to little things and we were not quite good enough on the little things today.


Q. Josh, wanted to ask about the grounder in the 8th, what happened to you on that play?

JOSH TOBIAS: I just tried to keep it in front of me and just got off my chest and got behind me. I should have stayed down better.


Q. What happened there in the 7th?

JOHNNY MAGLIOZZI: Struggled to throw strikes. First†† three†† innings, I was pretty uncomfortable and I got in a rhythm and tried my best but didn't work out that good.


Q. †Josh, you were 4-for-4 at the plate today, after yesterday, the offense was pretty quiet and you guys† seemed to come out swinging better sticks this time around. What happened that you were able to get that three-run inning and after that, why do you think the offense quieted back down?

JOSH TOBIAS: I mean, things started off with some hits and got some runs in and that led to more runs and more hits and we were trying to get guys on base and we just kind of settled down after that. We just got guys on base.


Q.† Seemed like you guys were getting on base a lot. What did you think about the situational hitting?† Seemed like you had it early on but towards the end of the game it wasn't quite as good?

JOSH TOBIAS: Just stuff we didn't do right, didn't do well, we've just got to work on it.


Q. Coach, going along with that, I think it was 11 runners left on base today. Is that just some of those little things you were talking about, just not being able to move guys over and move them in when you had opportunities?

COACH O'SULLIVAN: We start the game off, we had runners on first and second, nobody out. We got Shafer up, and we don't move the runners. †We end up striking out and we don't score any runs. We had first and third with one out, a few innings later, Shafer up again. And he's throwing an off-speed pitch and didn't hit it hard and we hit into a double play.


Those situations, where you† can† score a run without getting a hit, you've got to clutch up and put together a good at-bat there. And those two instances kind of hurt us. And, obviously Taylor there in the ninth, we had second, third and one out; they are giving us an opportunity to score both ways: Infield is playing back and ground ball scores or fly ball scores the tying run.


We just didn't quite do enough, and it's been that way all year long to be quite honest with you.


Q. How did your message change as the walks kept mounting? What did you want him to do, attack the zone,† challenge† the hitters?

COACH O'SULLIVAN: No. In that situation with the bases loaded, you've got no choice but to throw strikes. We were calling fastballs down the middle. Our players know, our pitchers know, I'd rather give up a hit than a walk. We were not trying to be too fine. You look back, there might have been two breaking balls called in the sequence. Just didnít throw strikes.


Q. That three-run fourth inning, I think Martin was up and it was a 3-1 count and he decided to bunt, popped it out to the catcher; did that come from the dugout, or was that him trying to get out?

COACH O'SULLIVAN: No. The talk was that he's going to drag on the first pitch, and if we got into an advantage count, he was going to swing. So, he showed drag twice after that that we did not call; we were going to have him swing. So he did that on his own. But he's an aggressive player, and in that situation with a 3-1 count, we did want him to swing.


Q. Sort of an aberration year, rebuilding year and all that; what do you want the guys to take from this season and put forward to seasons to come?

COACH O'SULLIVAN: To be honest with you, this season is not the standard we want at Florida and there's no rebuilding at Florida. I keep hearing that all year long. We've got young players but it's time to grow up. They are not freshmen anymore. †The game comes down to pitching, defense and hitting.


To be honest with you, I think the thing that's most disappointing up† to this †point, I don't think we've seen improvement with some players that we thought we would at this point. You know, we have a standard at Florida, and I don't think we met that standard.


Q. Magliozzi ran into trouble in the 7th but he got out of jams early on and had those nice few innings. What did it mean to have your normal closer come in and give effort like that?


COACH O'SULLIVAN: Well, he's started a couple of games. He started the game against Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament and started the game against Auburn, the Saturday game. And he started a game in about the middle of the year against Mississippi State; so he's kind of done both.


The bottom line about Johnny Magliozzi is if he doesn't perform like he did all year long, we would not be playing in this tournament. His numbers say that and his heart says that. He single-handedly got us to this point.


Q. You just mentioned, the guys had not improved as much as you would have liked. Were there specific areas where the guys didn't pick it up?

COACH O'SULLIVAN: Offensively. I think we pitched fairly good all year long. We have to get better offensively and be able to handle the bat from top to bottom. I don't feel like we are a very good bunting team. We work on it constantly. I don't† know† if† we handle the bat enough in situational hitting situations. We do not -- we have not put good swings on offensive counts and did enough damage there.


So, there's a bunch of things that we need to improve on. But, I don't want to sound negative. It's tough after a loss and your season is over. There were a lot of positives this year, as well. There† were.† It's† just† hard† when† you† have expectations for your team, and the season comes to an abrupt end like it has.

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