Tuesday March 1, 2005Gators Down Mercer, 13-1, For Sixth Straight Win
Sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) belted home runs from both sides of the plate and drove in a career-high five RBI to power eighth-ranked Florida to a 13-1 victory over Mercer on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. In helping the Gators (9-2) to their sixth consecutive win, Davis (2-for-5) started the home teamís evening at the dish with a leadoff homer and delivered his first grand slam in the second inning with a shot off the scoreboard. UF built a 9-0 lead before the Bears (11-4) scored in the top of the eighth, then tacked on four more runs in its final at bat to finalize the margin.
Junior Sean McCahill opened the game for Mercer with a single into right field and advanced to second on a one-out base-hit to left by classmate Brandon Reichert. A grounder by senior Daniel Hurst advanced both runners into scoring position with two down before senior Tommy Boss (Dunnellon, Fla.) worked out of the jam by having sophomore Andrew Einert tap back to him on the hill.
Davis cranked rookie Kyle Bedrosianís first offering into the left field bleachers for a quick 1-0 Gator advantage. The leadoff home run was the first for a Florida player since Brett Dowdy accomplished the feat in a 5-1 victory over Tennessee on March 29, 2003 and was Davisí second round-tripper of the year. Junior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) followed with a walk and senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) ripped a single into center to give UF a pair of runners aboard. However, Bedrosian rebounded to have sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) ground into a double play that forced Barton at third and then struck out sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) to end the frame.
In the second, Bedrosian issued three consecutive walks to freshman Jared Kubin (Oakton, Va.), junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) and sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) to load the bases with none out. Freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) earned the fourth free pass in a row to end the freshman left-handerís evening and provide the hosts with a 2-0 lead. Junior Josh Young took the mound and was greeted with a grand slam that clanged off the board by Davis. Oddly enough, Davisí home run in the first came from the right side of the plate and his first career four-bagger was from the left side for a six-run cushion. The final line for Bedrosian (1-1) was one inning, two hits, five runs (all earned), five walks and one strikeout.
Boss (2-0) departed the game after working three innings in which he allowed four hits and notched two strikeouts. The right-hander threw 39 pitches and was on a pitch count from the coaching staff. Freshman Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.) hurled three scoreless frames with one K and two hits.
UF increased its lead to 7-0 in the fifth on a Texas Leaguer by Kubin that scored LaPorta, who had extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games by depositing a flare into left center field. The Gators added two more runs in the seventh, made possible as Corsaletti drew a leadoff walk from junior reliever Andrew Urena (1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 BB), LaPorta lashed a single into left and Leclerc walked to fill the sacks. Freshman pinch hitter Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) grounded into a double play to bring Corsaletti across with the eighth run and Tordi delivered an RBI single into right for the 9-0 bulge.
The Bears averted the shutout in the eighth on a RBI single into center field by Reichert off freshman Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.), UFís third hurler of the game. The rookie righty issued a leadoff walk to McCahill, then was hurt by a throwing error that would have erased the runner at second base. Reichert sent a 2-2 offering up the middle to score his teammate. Senior Connor Falkenbach (Parkland, Fla.) entered the game and induced a line drive by Hurst that LaPorta snared into a double play and fanned Einert to close the inning.
The Gators answered Mercerís run in the home portion of the eighth on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded by LaPorta that plated McArthur and a three-run homer over the right field fence by Leclerc - his fourth big fly of the campaign. LaPorta went 2-for-4 and scored twice as UF held an 11-10 advantage in hits. Reichert paced the Bears with a 3-for-4 outing. Florida will return to action on Friday night when it hosts Villanova (4-1-1) in the opener of a three-game series at McKethan Stadium starting at 6:30 p.m.