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Tuesday February 18, 2014Seventh-Inning Rally Powers No. 20 Florida Baseball Over UCF, 5-1

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 20 Florida (3-1) snapped a 1-1 tie by scoring four runs with two out in the seventh inning to down UCF (3-1), 5-1, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Junior Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) drew a bases-loaded walk from junior right-hander Joe Marotta (0-1) and junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) (2-for-3) followed with a two-run single into left center field off of freshman reliever Trent Thompson. After freshman A.J. Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) walked to load the bases again, junior Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) collected an infield RBI single for his initial hit of the season to finalize the 5-1 margin.

 

Freshman righty Logan Shore (Coon Rapids, Minn.) had a strong collegiate debut, limiting the Knights to one unearned run over 5.1 innings in which he scattered three hits and registered four strikeouts. Sophomore Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-0) notched his first win of the campaign with 3.2 innings of scoreless ball in which he surrendered one hit.

 

Junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-for-4, two runs) opened the scoring in the first inning by smacking a 3-2 offering from UCF junior Zach Rodgers over the right-field wall for the Gators’ first homer of the season. The blast was Gushue’s first since April 26 last season against Tennessee and eight of his 11 career round-trippers have been solo shots.

 

Shore yielded a leadoff single into left field to junior JaMarcos Woods to start the sixth and junior Dylan Moore moved his teammate into scoring position with a sacrifice fly. Young took over on the mound for Shore (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K) and had a grounder by junior Derrick Salberg move Woods to third base. A fielding error by sophomore shortstop Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) on a grounder by junior Tommy Williams enabled Woods to score the tying run.

 

The Gators loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, as junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) reached on a leadoff error, Mattson drew a two-out walk and Puk was hit by a pitch. However, junior reliever Parker Thomas had a fielder’s choice by Shafer force Puk at second for the final out.

 

In the seventh, freshman Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.) worked a leadoff walk from Marotta and moved over on a sacrifice bunt by junior Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.). After Martin earned a free pass, Turgeon’s fielder’s choice forced Reed at third base and Morotta issued a walk to Gushue that loaded the bases. Powers provided the Gators with a 2-1 advantage by walking on four pitches and clutch hits by Mattson and Shafer paved the way to the Gators’ third triumph in four outings this season.  

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On Logan Shore’s performance:

“That was about as impressive of a first start that I can remember for a freshman. I told him yesterday that Hudson Randall was kind of the same way – you know, didn’t start on the weekends, started the season and got his first start against UCF and threw five shutout innings. It was kind of the same thing tonight. We have always known that Logan is very talented, he has worked extremely hard and he’s a great kid. He does everything you want him to do on and off the field and tonight he showed us why he was one of the most highly-recruited guys in our class. So, I was really, really pleased with how he pitched tonight. He needed to go deep into the ballgame because we needed to use Eric (Hanhold) and Justin (Shafer) for 50 or so pitches on Sunday, so our bullpen was a little taxed. He got us into the sixth and obviously Danny Young did a great job as he has been doing.”

 

“Offensively, we had the big inning there in the seventh with the four runs, Braden Mattson got the big hit there with runners on and you know the offense is coming. We hit some balls hard again tonight. There’s obviously still a lot of things we have to work on, we have to make some better adjustments, we had a runner on third, we didn’t get him in. But overall, we are starting the season 3-1.”

 

Junior catcher Taylor Gushue

On his homer in the first inning:

“It felt really good; I went down 0-2 and I wasn’t really trying to do too much - just put something in play and he (UCF RHP Zach Rodgers) left a fastball up. I got on top of it and maxed one out; it was nice.”

 

On freshman RHP Logan Shore’s first career start:

“It was unbelievable. Every single thing that I asked him to do, he did. He was perfect for us. We really needed him to have a good start tonight and, with Danny (Young) coming in behind him, we used two pitchers against UCF, which is a really good team. It saved our bullpen for tomorrow against UNF, they always come here with their bats really hot. It was a great day and Shore did an awesome job.”

 

Freshman right-hander Logan Shore

On his first career outing:

“It was good finally to pitch in some warm weather in the spring. I come from Minnesota, so it felt good. Adrenaline was going a little bit in the first (inning) but after that I settled in and I felt good. I tried to stay within myself and not do too much.”

 

Junior outfielder Braden Mattson

On his two-run single during the seventh inning:

“I was just trying to have a good at-bat. I saw the pitch up and I didn’t try to do too much like I did my last at-bat; it worked out well.”

          

SERIES OUTCOME

·         The Gators improved to 24-15 all-time vs. UCF, including a 16-10 mark in Gainesville.

·         Florida has now won the last four matchups between the teams, one shy of its longest win streak vs. UCF (five straight from 4/12/77-2/8/85).

·         The Gators have started 3-1 for the second-straight year.

 

FOR STARTERS

·         RHP Logan Shore made his collegiate debut, holding the Knights to one unearned run in 5.1 innings pitched , with no walks and four strikeouts.

·         Shore tossed 21 of his 77 pitches in the first inning before rebounding with a five-pitch second inning.

·         Shore held the Knights hitless in five at-bats with runners on base.

·         Shore Held the Knights hitless over an 11-batter span following Vazquez’s second-inning single.

 

GOING YARD

·         Junior catcher Taylor Gushue hit his first HR of the season in the first inning.

·         It was the first homer of the year for the Gators.

 

MY FAVORITE MARTIN

·         Sophomore shortstop Richie Martin recorded his first triple of the year – and the first for the Gators this season – in the third inning.

·         Martin has now hit safely in all four games this season and eight in-a-row dating back to last year.

·         Martin is now 6-for-14 with three walks, three extra-base hits (two doubles, one triple) and a team-high five runs this year.

 

WALK AROUND

·         Gators batters drew seven walks tonight and have collected 16 walks over their last two contests.

·         UF has drawn 21 walks over its first four games of the year.

 

SEVENTH HEAVEN

·         The Gators scored four runs in the seventh inning, sending 10 men to the plate and hitting the ball out of the infield just once (two singles, five walks)…all four runs scored with two outs.

·         Junior Zack Powers drew a bases loaded walk in the seventh to push across the go-ahead run. 

·         Junior Justin Shafer had an RBI single in the Gators’ four-run seventh inning for his first hit of the year (began the season 0-for-9)

 

SEVENTH HEAVEN, PART II

·         The Gators have recorded exactly seven hits in each of their first four games to start the season.

 

ON-BASE MACHINE

·         Junior Braden Mattson started his second straight game and reached base three times tonight (two singles, one walk), driving in a pair of runs with his seventh-inning bases-loaded single.

 

IN RELIEF

·         Sophomore Danny Young earned the win, tossing a season-high 3.2 innings of scoreless relief (1 H, 2 K) – one-third shy of his career-high relief outing.

·         He has now appeared in three of the Gators’ first four games.

·         Gator pitchers combined to hold the Knights to just one hit over their final 14 batters and two hits over their final 26 batters.

 

Up Next

The Gators complete their five-game, season-opening stretch at McKethan Stadium by facing North Florida (2-1) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

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