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Friday March 4, 2005Villanova Takes Opener from UF Baseball, 11-1

Gainesville, FL

Behind a brilliant pitching performance by senior Nick Allen and a pair of three-run homers, Villanova cruised to an 11-1 win over No. 8 Florida in Friday’s opener of a three-game series at McKethan Stadium. The righty limited the Gators (9-3) to just five hits and an unearned run over 7.1 innings to help the Wildcats (5-1-1) snap UF’s six-game winning streak. Allen (2-0) had thrown a seven-inning no-hitter in his previous outing, a 2-0 victory over Norfolk State. Junior Kris Molloy was 3-for-6 out of the leadoff spot with five RBI for VU.

The Wildcats sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs in their first at bat against junior Alan Horne (Marianna, Fla.). Molloy opened the game with a single into right field and freshman Derek Shunk followed with a sharply hit ball through the right side before Horne retired junior Angelo Petracca on a fly ball to right. VU junior Jeremy Hunt stepped to the plate and blasted Horne’s initial offering over the right field wall for a 3-0 lead. The right-hander then walked junior Jim Gillin, uncorked a wild pitch and issued back-to-back free passes to senior Alan Day and freshman James Dolbier to load the bases. A sacrifice fly to center by sophomore Andy Wendle brought across Gillin before Horne had senior Mark Cardillo arch an infield fly to end the top of the first.

Florida squandered a prime chance to get on the board in the second by leaving the bases full. Sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) reached on an infield error to start the inning and junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) also made it to first on a one-out miscue by the Wildcats. A ground ball by freshman Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) moved the runners into scoring position and sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) drew a walk from senior Nick Allen to fill the sacks with two down. However, the right-hander had freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) fly out to end the Gator threat.

Villanova chased Horne (1-1) in the third by stringing together three consecutive singles by Day, Dolbier and Wendle to build a 5-0 cushion. The righty lasted just 2.1 innings, a span in which he surrendered six hits and five runs, with four walks, a hit batter and a balk. Senior Mike Pete (Brandon, Fla.) came out of UF’s bullpen and had Cardillo tap into a 6-4-3 double play to prevent further damage.

The Gators put two runners aboard in the fourth, as sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) walked on four pitches with one out and Tordi was hit by a pitch soon after. Barber flew out to center and Tordi was caught in a rundown and erased diving back to first to keep the score 5-0 in favor of VU.

Gillin and Day each singled to start the fifth inning and were sacrificed over by Dolbier, signaling the end of Pete’s tenure on the hill. The southpaw wound up with a final line of three strikeouts, two hits and two runs in two innings. Senior Connor Falkenbach (Parkland, Fla.) fanned Wendle for the second out but then plunked Cardillo to load the bases. Molloy sliced a two-run single just beyond McArthur’s reach at third base to move his squad ahead by a 7-0 margin.

Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) poked a single in the sixth to score Barton with the Gators’ only run. Barton had drawn a leadoff walk and taken second on a passed ball before Corsaletti notched his first RBI since Feb. 15 with a base-hit up the middle.

Molloy launched a three-run homer into the bleachers off Falkenbach in the seventh for a comfortable 10-1 lead. Day bashed a leadoff double to left center before the reliever set down the next two Wildcats. Cardillo legged out an infield hit to give his club runners on the corners before Molloy sent Falkenbach’s next pitch over the left field wall for his first career round-tripper.

Villanova collected 15 hits off six Gator hurlers. In addition to Horne, Pete and Falkenbach (2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 3 R), freshman Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) (0.2 IP, 2 K, 1 BB), sophomore Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) (0.1 IP, 1 K) and freshman Michael Branham (Tampa, Fla.) (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB) spent time on the mound for UF. Junior Ted Aust worked the final 1.2 innings for the Wildcats, who were also helped offensively by Day (3-for-4, three runs), Shunk (2-for-5) and Petracca (2-for-5). Barton and Corsaletti were each 2-for-4 for Florida. Tomorrow’s pitching matchup will be junior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.) (2-0, 0.48 ERA) for the home team against VU sophomore Mike Loree (2-0, 1.80 ERA).

Game Notes:

  • The four runs in the first inning were the most UF has surrendered in the opening frame this season.
  • The 2.1-inning stint was Alan Horne’s shortest of the campaign after working six innings in his first three starts.
  • Stephen Barton’s one-out single in the first was the first hit allowed by Nick Allen in 8.0 innings after he fired a seven-inning no-hitter against Norfolk State on Feb. 26.
  • Allen has not surrendered an earned run in 19.1 innings this season.
  • UF’s total of six hits was its lowest of the year. The previous low was 7 against Charleston Southern on Feb. 11 and 12.
  • Villanova banged out 15 hits, the second-highest figure for a Gator opponent in 2005 – Miami (Fla.) had 16 on Feb. 18.
  • Matt LaPorta’s seven-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 performance.
  • Florida has also dropped the opener of series against Charleston Southern and Miami (Fla.).
  • The defeat was the Gators’ worst at home since an 11-1 setback to Tennessee on May 15, 1993.
  • The loss to Villanova was UF’s worst since a 16-4 defeat at Florida State on April 21, 2004.
  • Tonight was the first meeting between the schools on the diamond.

-UF-

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