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Redshirt junior Karsten Whitson had season-highs in innings (5.0) and strikeouts (5) for the Gators tonight,

Tuesday April 22, 2014Seventh-Inning Homer Powers Jacksonville Past No. 12 Florida, 3-1

Gainesville, Fla.

Redshirt junior Karsten Whitson had season-highs in innings (5.0) and strikeouts (5) for the Gators tonight,

Sophomore Dylan Dillard belted a three-run homer with two down in the seventh inning to lift Jacksonville (14-25) to a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Florida (27-14) on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Dillard’s second big fly of the year supported a strong effort on the mound by redshirt junior right-hander Justin Russell (5-2), who limited the Gators to one run and three hits over seven innings. JU’s Friday night starter, junior Alex McRae, pitched the final two frames to collect his first save.

 

Junior Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) (2-for-4) had given the home team a 1-0 lead with a two-out homer to right field in the second inning.

 

After redshirt junior right-hander Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) delivered season-highs in innings (five shutout frames) and strikeouts (five), junior Angelo Amendolare greeted junior reliever Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2-1) with an infield single to start the sixth and was sacrificed over by junior Cameron Gibson. Harris stranded the runner with consecutive grounders by sophomore Connor Marabell and senior Scott Schaub.

 

In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) legged out a triple with one down and junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) was issued a two-out intentional walk but Russell had junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) line out to right field to keep the Dolphins down a run.

 

Senior Braddock Rowe and sophomore Michael Babb were each hit with one down in the seventh by Harris and freshman Alex Seifert moved his teammates into scoring position with a bunt. Dillard then gave Jacksonville a 3-1 lead with a homer into the left-field bleachers.

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On if Justin Russell’s delivery threw off the Gators:

“You know, credit those guys. Their starting pitcher did a heck of a job, he held us to three hits over seven (innings). All the credit goes to him and they brought in (Alex) McCrae at the end and he made some pitches when he needed to. We fought back from a 0-2 count with (Taylor) Gushue in the ninth and I think he threw four or five strikes in a row. So, credit those guys. They did what they needed to do to win tonight and they certainly deserved it.”

 

On Karsten Whitson’s night:

“I thought Karsten threw really well. He did everything I had hoped for. But, that’s the disappointing thing – it’s been a tough road for him and he comes out tonight and throws as good as he has in a while. We weren’t sharp in the first inning defensively; we dodged a bullet there. We had second and third with two outs and Karsten was throwing the ball well and we just didn’t play well defensively in the first; we looked sloppy. I thought our at bats in the first three innings weren’t good, we didn’t make very much adjustment and then we kind of woke up there and had some good at bats in the fourth, fifth and sixth but we just have to do a better job. We’ve explained to these guys that in these mid-week games, these in-state teams come in and want to beat us and you can’t bring anything other than your “A” game and you have to be ready to play. Unfortunately, tonight we weren’t ready to play but I don’t want to take anything away from JU, their pitchers threw the ball well and they deserved to win.”

 

Redshirt junior right-hander Karsten Whitson

On his performance tonight:

“It’s good to get out there and put some zeroes up on the board early to give us a little momentum. I felt good out there tonight. I’ve been trying to simple up the game for myself, attacking hitters. I’ve been working hard in between our games and our scrimmages.”

 

Game Notes

·         Florida’s six-game winning streak came to an end.

·         RHP Karsten Whitson worked a season-high five innings and registered a season-high five strikeouts.

·         Whitson’s K total was his highest since five against Vanderbilt on June 20, 2011, at the NCAA College World Series.

·         Zack Powers connected on his first homer since April 5 at Kentucky. Of his five career homers, three have been solo and he has a pair of grand slams.

·         RHP Ryan Harris worked 2.1 innings in which he yielded two hits and three runs. He was followed to the mound by freshman LHP Kirby Snead (0.1 IP, 1 H) and sophomore RHP Eric Hanhold (1.1 IP, 0 H).

·         Florida’s three hit batters matched a season high.

·         Taylor Gushue’s career-high 14-game hitting streak ended with a 0-for-3 performance.

 

Up Next

The Gators welcome Florida A&M (17-21) to McKethan Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Bob White and will be carried on FOX Sports Florida with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert.

 

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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