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Friday March 7, 2014Florida Baseball Edges UConn, 1-0, In 11 Innings To Take Series Opener

Gainesville, Fla.

Junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) delivered a game-winning, two-out single in the 11th inning to score junior Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C) from second base with the game’s lone run as Florida (8-6) nipped UConn (4-6), 1-0, in the opener of the teams’ weekend series at McKethan Stadium on Friday night.

 

In the 11th, Tobias (3-for-4) led off with a single up the middle off of Huskies’ freshman Patrick Ruotolo (1-1). Facing freshman reliever Anthony Kay, freshman Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.) laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Tobias into scoring position. After sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) lined out to second base, ending his hitting streak at a career-high 17 games, Turgeon (2-for-3, two walks) roped a 2-0 offering into right field that brought home Tobias with the winning run.

 

Freshman starter Logan Shore (Coon Rapids, Minn.) hurled a career-high seven scoreless innings and allowed only a pair of singles, with four strikeouts and a walk. Over 20 innings to begin his career, he has permitted one earned run and boasts a 0.45 ERA.

 

Four other pitchers turned in scoreless outings for Florida, junior Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (0.2 IP, 1 H), junior Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2.0 IP, 2 H), freshman Kirby Snead (Alachua, Fla.) (0.2 IP) and sophomore Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0.2 IP, 1 H). Hanhold (2-1) picked up the win as the Orange and Blue posted their third shutout of the season, one more than all of last spring.

 

In the seventh, junior Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) legged out a bunt single and advanced to third base on a single by Reed on a hit-and-run. Martin attempted to drive in Shafer with a squeeze bunt but the Huskies threw out Shafer at the dish. Redshirt junior left-hander David Mahoney replaced redshirt junior Jordan Tabakman (6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K) and walked Turgeon to load the bases. He worked out of the jam by having freshman Peter Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) fly out to left field.

 

Poyner took over for Shore prior to the eighth inning and retired the first two Huskies before a single by sophomore Jack Sundberg ricocheted off of the pitcher’s leg. Harris was summoned from the bullpen and Sundberg was caught stealing to end the frame.

 

Junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) greeted Ruotolo with a leadoff double into right center in the home part of the frame but the pitcher responded with a strikeout of junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) on a bunt attempt. A grounder by junior pinch hitter Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) pushed Gushue to third, but Shafer went down swinging to keep the zeroes on the scoreboard.

 

UConn threatened in the 10th, when sophomore Max McDowell had a one-out double to left field and junior Jon Testani followed with a walk. A fielder’s choice by freshman Aaron Hill erased Testani at second and advanced McDowell to third base. With Snead replacing Harris on the mound, the Huskies attempted a double steal and McDowell was tagged out by Gushue.

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On tonight’s series opener between Gators & Huskies:

“It was one of those games where every pitch mattered. You know, it was maybe one of those wins where this thing gets us jump-started a little bit. It was really good to see Josh (Tobias) start off the 11th there and get a hit. I thought Richie Martin’s at-bat was really good – he hit the ball hard and that’s all you can ask to have a good at-bat. Then, Casey (Turgeon) got into an offensive count and got a good swing on it. From that perspective, it was a really good inning obviously. Just trying to play for one run there but obviously there are some things we need to improve on. We missed a couple sac bunts tonight, missed a couple hit-and-runs, we had two opportunities with runners at third and we didn’t execute. I want the players to enjoy this win tonight. This is a hard-fought win tonight and we will go over some of the mistakes tomorrow. Tonight I want them to feel good about it.”

 

Freshman right-hander Logan Shore

On his first start on a Friday night:

“Coming in here as a freshman, especially with our freshmen class, there are a lot of expectations put on us. It is certainly one of my goals to be in the weekend rotation, but to start off the weekend, my goal is to make myself the best I can be and to go out there and help the team win in any way possible. Hopefully, I can keep it going. I try to treat it like every other start, but I know it wasn’t like every other start in the back of my mind. I just try to keep everything under control, and keep the adrenaline under control and stay within myself, not trying to do too much.”

 

Sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon

On tonight’s win over UConn:

“That hit was the pitch I was looking for and I got it. We ended up with the win; we needed that win. Logan Shore came out tonight and threw the ball unbelievable again. I give all the credit to our pitching tonight. All of the freshmen have something to prove and he’s the one who stepped up and said, “I’ll take that job.” He did a great job with it and it was a fantastic night. Hopefully, his next start is just as good.”

 

Postgame Notes        

·         With a single in the third inning, freshman Peter Alonso extended his hitting streak to seven games.

·         Freshman Logan Shore pitched a career-high seven innings, the longest outing by a Gator pitcher this season. Shore faced 25 batters, striking out four and allowing just two hits and a walk.

·         Junior Taylor Gushue notched the Gators’ only extra-base hit with a double in the eighth inning.

·         Florida entered extra innings for the first time this season. In records dating back to 1984, the Gators had not played a scoreless game into the 10th inning.

·         Sophomore shortstop Richie Martin was unable to get a hit, ending his career-best 17-game hitting streak. Martin also did not reach base for the first time in 32 games, dating back to last season.

·         Junior second baseman Casey Turgeon, who brought in Josh Tobias with the winning run, recorded his fifth multi-hit game of the season.

·         Six Gators combined for nine hits against the Huskies, led by junior third baseman Josh Tobias with three. Tobias notched his second multi-hit game of the season and extended his hitting streak to four games.

·         The Florida pitching staff combined for five strikeouts, while UConn pitchers totaled six strikeouts.

·         Before tonight, UF’s last extra-inning game was a 3-2 triumph over Tennessee on April 27, 2013.

 

Up Next

Game two between the Gators and Huskies will be at 3 p.m. tomorrow and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel. Fans can receive free general-admission seating for the game when they show their ticket stub from tomorrow afternoon’s Florida-Kentucky game at either gate.

 

Follow the Gators

Live stats for each game are available on GatorZone.com and fans can also receive updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.

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