overcame a 2-1 deficit with two runs in the sixth inning and the Bears’ bullpen
held top-ranked Florida
scoreless for the final six innings on its way to a 3-2 triumph on Wednesday
night at McKethan Stadium. Mercer’s (5-2) trio of
relievers, senior Josh Young (3.0 IP, 1 H, 6 K), senior Hunter Abercrombie (2.0
IP, 1 H) and senior Andrew Urena (1.0 IP, 2 K) kept
the Gator offense in check as the hosts dropped to 3-1 on the season.
took advantage of a two-out error in the first inning to seize a 1-0 lead.
Senior Sean McCahill drew a leadoff walk from
sophomore Michael Branham (Tampa, Fla.)
but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by freshman Tyler McCarty. Branham
caught junior Andrew Einert looking on strikes and
junior Josh Thompson followed with a walk. Senior Shawn Barrett’s grounder was then
misplayed, allowing McCarty to score the game’s opening run.
Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
replaced Branham (1.0 IP, 3 BB) with a runner aboard in the second frame and
retired all five batters he faced. The right-hander was also helped that inning
by junior catcher Brian Jeroloman (Wellington,
Fla.) gunning down junior
Eric Renfroe as he attempted to steal second. It was
the first stolen-base try by an opponent this season against UF.
Florida plated a pair of unearned runs with
two down in third to take a 2-1 advantage. Junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.)
opened the frame with an infield hit and was sacrificed into scoring position
by senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.).
Junior Adam Davis (Fort
Myers, Fla.) grounded out to
short to advance Cash and junior Brian Leclerc’s (Clearwater,
Fla.) grounder was mishandled
to tie the game. With Leclerc perched at third after
hustling on the error, junior Matt LaPorta (Port
gave the Gators the lead with a hard RBI single. Jeroloman
followed with a base-hit off junior Blake Quarles (3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER) and sophomore Brandon
McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) walked to load the sacks. The
southpaw responded with a punchout of senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.)
to end the inning.
In the fourth,
Barrett launched a one-out double off freshman reliever Matt Hightower (Cartersville,
Ga.) and an
infield single with two down by Renfroe put runners
on the corners for the Bears. The lefty worked out of the jam by having
sophomore Billy Shaughnessy ground out to Cash at
moved in front in the sixth, 3-2, with two runs on three hits. Sophomore Mike
Armstrong started things off with a pinch-hit single and Thompson launched a
ground-rule double over the fence in left center field. Barrett tied the game
with a base-hit into left, prompting a pitching change for Florida,
as junior Kris Gawriluk
replaced Hightower (2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R). Junior Josh Lowey dropped down a
sacrifice bunt up the first-base line to bring Thompson across with the
go-ahead run before the right-hander retired Renfroe
walked with one out in the seventh and stole second base, his fourth theft of
the campaign. After Gawriluk induced a foul pop-out
by freshman Steve Karwatt, senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
came out of the bullpen to fan Armstrong. O’Day threw
2.1 scoreless innings and totaled five K.
off the home portion of the seventh with a single up the middle, ending the
night for Young. Woods greeted Abercrombie with his second sacrifice of the
game to move Cash over before the southpaw set down Davis and Leclerc on back-to-back flyouts
to preserve Mercer’s one-run lead.
roped a one-out double in the eighth to right field and took third on McArthur’s
grounder. Abercrombie walked junior pinch hitter Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) and shortstop Shaughnessy
made a diving stab of junior Gavin Dickey’s
(Tallahassee, Fla.) grounder to force Pride at second
with the final out of the inning. Urena entered the
game in the ninth and put down the Gators in order to collect his first save.
6-5, with both Barrett and Thompson going 2-for-3. Cash and Jeroloman
were 2-for-4 to lead the Orange
and Blue. The Gators next head to Coral
Gables for a weekend series against No. 16 Miami
(6-3). Senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda,
Fla.) (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will
start Friday’s opener at 2 p.m.
- Tonight was the first time Florida trailed all
- Stephen Barton was hit by a
pitch for the 29th time in his career during the second inning, tying him
with Justin Tordi for third on the Gators’ list.
- UF’s last home loss occurred May
15, 2005, against Mississippi
State, halting a
nine-game winning streak.
- Both teams stranded eight
- Mercer had four extra-base
hits, compared to one for the Gators.