Sunday February 8, 2004Baseball Sweeps Series with 8-4 Win Over Bulldogs
The University of Florida baseball team improved to 2-0 by sweeping their first series of the season with an 8-4 win over Gardner-Webb on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. Florida pitchers held Gardner-Webb in check as Florida scored all the runs they needed with a six-run second inning.
Justin Tordi led the Gators offensively as he went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Freshman Brian Leclerc also had a solid day at the plate as he hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBI.
Florida used three arms, starter Tommy Boss, Conner Falkenback and Darren O’Day to hold off the Bulldogs. Falkenbach earned the victory as he come on in relief of Boss in the fifth. He would go 3.2 innings and give up five hits and one unearned with a stikeout. O’Day earned the save as he threw a scoreless 1.1 innings.
The Gators put together a six-run second inning to jump ahead to an early lead. Jeff Corsaletti led off the inning with an infield base hit. C.J. Smith doubled down the right field line scoring Corsaletti. Matt LaPorta hit a RBI single to right field. The Bulldogs failed an attempt to pick off LaPorta, allowing Smith to score and LaPorta to advance to third. A Justin Tordi RBI fielders’ choice allowed LaPorta to cross the plate. Jonathan Tucker reached after being hit by a pitch. In the next at bat, Ryan Leclerc took a three-two pitch and deposited it over the right field scoreboard for his first collegiate home run and extending the lead to 6-0.
Gardner-Webb got on the board for the first time in the series in the third. Designated hitter Sammy Styers singled to right field before J.D. Milford tripled to left center putting a dent in the Gator lead.
Florida got the run back in the fourth as Tordi began the inning with a single to center field and advanced to second on a Bulldog wild pitch. A Kennedy bunt base hit and an ensuing Gardner-Webb error allowed Tordi to score.
The Bulldogs again responded in the fifth inning. Jim Glueckert doubled to right field before Styers hit his first collegiate home run and closed the gap to 7-3.
After two scoreless innings, the Bulldogs and Gators traded runs in the eighth inning. Back-to-back singles by Blake Lalli and David Futrelle started off the Gardner-Webb eighth. Ryan Quirello then grounded into a double allowing Lalli to advance to third. He scored on a throwing error bringing the game within three runs.
The Florida insurance run came after Matt Maley singled up the middle and exited the game for pinch runner Gavin Dickey. Tordi singled to left field and the runners advanced on a throwing error by the Bulldogs. Dickey scored the final run of the game on a wild pitch.
The Gators travel to Miami to face the second ranked Hurricanes in a three-game series Feb. 13-15. Friday’s game at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Sunshine Network.