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Saturday February 7, 2004Baseball Shuts Out Gardner-Webb 14-0 in Opener

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida baseball team used four multi-run innings and rode the pitching of three pitchers to open the 2004 season with a 14-0 victory over Gardner-Webb at McKethan Stadium. Offensively, Ben Harrison led the Gators with four hits and four RBI with two singles, a double and a homerun.

Junior Justin Hoyman picked up the victory on the mound for the Gators as he pitched seven innings and gave up just three hits. He threw just 70 pitches and struck out seven with just a single walk in the first inning. Hoyman pitched 52 strikes and retired 10 straight batters from the end of the third inning through the sixth. Hoyman combined with Mike Pete and Matt Fuchs for the shutout. The three pitchers gave up just four hits and struck out nine with just a pair of walks.

The Gators jumped out to an early advantage with a five-run first inning and didn’t look back. It was one of four multi-run innings for the Gators who also scored five in the eighth and two in the fifth and seventh.

In the first, Jonathan Tucker started the really with a double down the right field line. After an out, Ben Harrison started a string of six straight hits as he brought Tucker home with a single to left field. A single by Jeff Corsaletti set up a two-run homer to left center field by C.J. Smith. Newcomer Austin Easley recorded his first hit as a Gator with a single to right field and Justin Tordi continued the Gator streak, hitting the second double of the inning. In his first collegiate career at bat freshman catcher Brian Jeroloman hit a two RBI single to right center field brining home Tordi and Easley.

After three scoreless innings, Florida tacked on two runs in the fifth. Brian Leclerc and Harrison led of the inning with back-to-back doubles. Harrison’s shot to left center field scored Leclerc and a sacrifice fly by Smith brought Harrison home and extended the lead to 7-0.

Florida added two runs in the seventh inning spurred by a Harrison single to center field. In the next at bat, a Corsaletti double to left center brought Harrison home. A RBI double down the right field line by Smith scored Corsaletti giving Florida a 9-0 advantage.

The Gators put five more across in the eighth with their second five-run inning of the game. Tordi led off the inning with a walk before Matt LaPorta reached on a fielders’ choice and advanced to second on a Bulldog throwing error. Ryan Kennedy drew a walk, setting up a Jon Skorupski two-RBI single. A Harrison two-run home run to left center field capped off the Gator rally.

Also at the plate for Florida, Smith also had four RBI . Blake Lalli had a pair of hits for Gardner-Webb.

Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Jeff Long took the loss as he gave up 10 hits and seven runs over his five innings.

The series continues Saturday at McKethan Stadium. First pitch it scheduled for 1p.m.

NOTES

  • The last time the Gators shutout a team in a season opener was 1986 vs. Florida A&M (19-0).
  • Florida is 51-38-1 all-time on opening day including 31-18-1 in home openers.
  • The Gators have won 18 of their last 22 openers and 11 of 13 opening games at home.
  • Head Coach Pat McMahon is 9-3 all-time on opening days as head coach.
  • In McMahon’s 12 season openers his teams have averaged 13.0 runs per game.
  • Florida leads the all-time series with Gardner-Webb 2-0.
  • Four newcomers made their first start as a Gator – Brian Leclerc, Austin Easley, Brian Jeroloman and Ryan Kennedy.
  • Four additional newcomers saw their first action for Florida – Jon Skorupski, Gavin Dickey, Matt LaPorta and Matt Fuchs.
  • Three newcomers recorded their first hit in a Gator uniform – Easley (single), Jeroloman (single), Leclerc (double).

 

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