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Sunday February 12, 2006No. 1 Baseball Downs Cincinnati, 20-4, To Sweep Series

Gainesville, FL

The top-ranked Gator baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon with a 20-4 victory at McKethan Stadium. Florida (3-0) scored in its first five at bats and out-scored the Bearcats (0-3) over the three games by a 40-8 margin. Junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) was 3-for-4 and set career highs with two homers and four runs batted in, while classmate Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) provided a three-run blast and matched his personal best of four RBI. Freshman J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) earned the win in his first appearance with three scoreless innings.

 

“I thought that we competed hard in cold conditions, showed great composure and defended the field very well,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “From an offensive perspective, I thought that as the weekend unfolded, we did a much better job of not giving away at bats. This was a good start to the season for our club, but everyone recognizes there are still several areas we need to improve upon.”

 

The Gators used the combination of two hits, five walks and a hit batter to chase Cincinnati junior Glen Simon in the first inning. Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) and sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) poked consecutive singles and junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) walked on four pitches to load the bases. Jeroloman and classmate Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) also earned free passes to give the Gators a 2-0 lead. Simon uncorked a wild pitch, allowing LaPorta to score, and sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) delivered an RBI grounder for a 4-0 margin. Dickey was hit by a pitch and stole second with two down and a walk to senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.) filled the sacks again. Davis drew a base on balls to bring across the fifth run and end the afternoon for Simon (0.2 IP). Rookie reliever Dan Osterbrock had McArthur fly out to right to close the frame.    

 

UF added three more runs in the second to create an 8-0 bulge, courtesy of an RBI double by Leclerc and a two-run homer to left by Dickey. After LaPorta was hit to start things off, Leclerc sent a one-out double into the gap in right center for his second two-bagger of the series. Two batters later, Dickey connected on Osterbrock’s initial offering for his first round-tripper since May 13, 2005, versus Mississippi State.

 

Jeroloman boosted the Gators’ margin to 11-0 in the third inning with a three-run jack over the fence in right field. Davis had walked with one out but was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by McArthur. LaPorta walked for the sixth time on the series before Jeroloman belted a homer for the second-straight day.

 

Celebrating his 19th birthday today, Langlois made his collegiate debut at the beginning of the fourth and set down the Bearcats in order on two flyouts and a strikeout. An RBI single by Davis in the home part of the frame off sophomore reliever Sean Munninghoff scored Barber with Florida’s 12th run. Barber had reached on an UC error and moved into scoring position on a base-hit by Dickey.

 

Cincinnati rallied for three runs with two out in the fifth to get on the board. Freshman Josh Harrison singled with one down and later scored on a knock up the middle by sophomore Adam Calez. Senior LaFringe Hayes singled to push Calez over to second and senior Mark Muscenti followed with an RBI single to end Langlois’ time on the bump. The righty worked 1.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs. Senior Logan Parker greeted junior Patrick Thompson (Gainesville, Fla.) with a run-scoring single before the southpaw fanned junior Brian Szarmach.

 

The Gators answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the stanza, highlighted by a triple from Leclerc and a two-run shot into the left-field bleachers by Dickey. Jeroloman walked and came around from first when Leclerc’s hit found its way to the corner down the line in right. Following a ground out by Barber, Dickey became the first Florida player with two home runs in the same game since Davis had a couple as part of his school-record 10 RBI outburst versus Tennessee on April 30 of last season.

 

The Bearcats reached freshman reliever Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) for three hits and a run in the sixth during the righty’s first appearance. Senior Jon DeLuca led off with a double and rookie Cory Hodskins had an infield hit before Harrison laced an RBI single. Spottswood induced a ground ball from junior Nick Maragas for the first out but then issued a walk to Calez, prompting a pitching change. Junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) worked out of the bases-loaded jam by striking out Hayes and forcing Calez at second on a grounder by Muscenti.

 

The Gators completed the scoring with five runs on four hits in the eighth. Sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Davis each singled to load the bases. LaPorta drove in a pair of runs with a single and senior Greg Quatrino (Tampa, Fla.) slugged a pinch-hit, three-run homer to finalize the margin at 20-4. Oddly enough, Quatrino’s last at bat at McKethan Stadium was a three-run blast during the 23-3 triumph over Notre Dame in the NCAA Gainesville Regional championship game last June.

 

Davis and Dickey were each 3-for-4 for Florida, which out-hit the Bearcats, 14-11. Leclerc was 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBI and LaPorta (1-for-3) scored four runs, as UF totaled nine walks and was hit three times. The Gators’ final three pitchers, Porter, senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) and junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.), combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings. Harrison went 3-for-4 and Muscenti was 2-for-4 to lead UC. Florida resumes action on Wednesday night when it hosts Mercer beginning at 6:30 p.m.

 

Game Notes

  • Gavin Dickey had three homers in 2005 and four in his career entering today.
  • Adam Davis had at least one hit in all three games of the series.
  • The Gators were plunked a total of 10 times on the weekend.
  • Florida hit .333 (36-for-108) against Cincinnati, with 40 runs, 38 RBI, 27 walks, seven home runs, four doubles and a triple.
  • Of Brian Jeroloman’s 11 career homers, two have been of the three-run variety.
  • UF used seven different pitchers this afternoon, a group that registered eight strikeouts and permitted two walks.

 

-UF-

 

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