tying run perched at third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, top-ranked Florida (4-1) turned a
game-ending double play to nip host No. 16 Miami (6-4), 2-1, in the series
opener between the clubs at Mark Light Field on Friday afternoon. Summoned from
the bullpen to face junior pinch hitter Roger Tomas with runners on the
corners, Gator senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) induced a ground ball to sophomore second
baseman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.).
McArthur tagged senior Tommy Giles for the first out and threw over to junior
first baseman Matt LaPorta
(Port Charlotte, Fla.) to end the game.
Senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.)
improved to 2-0 on the season with seven strong innings in which he scattered
seven hits, totaled five strikeouts and allowed one run. Sophomore Carlos
Gutierrez fell to 3-1 after yielding four hits and two runs over 6.1 innings.
The right-hander walked five batters and notched four K. Miami out-hit the
Gators, 9-4, while UF left 11 runners on base.
extremely proud of the way our guys competed and showed great field presence,”
said head coach Pat McMahon. “From
an offensive perspective, we battled pitch counts throughout the game and were
able to manufacture two runs without a hit. Bryan (Ball) was outstanding and
provided valuable senior leadership to begin the series.”
two-double in the second by freshman Dennis Raben off
Ball gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. Junior Danny Valencia poked a single
through the right side of the infield with one down and moved into scoring
position on Giles’ grounder. Raben then sent a 1-1
offering just beyond sophomore third baseman Matt Gaski’s (Greensboro, N.C.)
reach down the line in left field to bring across the first run.
The Gators mounted
a two-out rally in the top of the third against Gutierrez but came away empty-handed.
Junior Brian Leclerc
collected his second hit of the contest with a base-hit to right and classmates
LaPorta and Brian
Fla.) drew consecutive walks
to load the bases. Gutierrez responded by catching McArthur looking on strikes
to end the frame.
Rodriguez led off UM’s third with a single up the
middle and was sacrificed to second by freshman Blake Tekotte.
Ball speared a chopper by freshman Jemile Weeks and
erased Rodriguez 1-6-5 on run-down before fanning Jay.
Florida tied the game in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice by
junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.).
Jeroloman walked to start things off and McArthur
reached on a sacrifice bunt to give the Gators two runners aboard. A fly ball
to right by sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.)
pushed Jeroloman to third and Dickey’s grounder to
short plated the tying run.
Florida seized a 2-1 edge in the seventh
without getting a hit. Back-to-back walks with one out to Davis and Leclerc ended the afternoon for Gutierrez. Junior Danny Gil
plunked LaPorta to fill the sacks and Jeroloman delivered an RBI grounder to move the Gators in
Valencia beat out an infield hit to start
the bottom of the seventh for the ‘Canes and Ball retired Giles (strikeout) and
Raben (flyout). Sophomore
Walter Diaz punched a single into right for a pair of runners on base before
the righty escaped the jam by punching out Rodriguez.
Ball went seven full innings for his longest outing since working 7.2 frames at
Vanderbilt on May 21, 2005.
fanning Tekotte to start UM’s
eighth, junior reliever Stephen Porter (Ocoee, Fla.)
issued a walk to Weeks. Following a fly out to center by Jay, Porter picked
the runner off first with a 1-3-6-4 combination.
reached on a Miami
error with one down in the ninth and took second on a wild pitch by sophomore Raudel Alfonso. The right-hander stranded Leclerc on second with a strikeout of LaPorta
and had Jeroloman tap back to the mound to retire the
Yonder Alonso singled to right to open the home portion of the inning for Miami and was replaced at
first by rookie pinch runner Nick Freitas. Jeroloman gunned down the runner attempting to steal for
first out but then Porter walked Valencia. A base-hit up the middle
by Giles left the Hurricanes with runners on the corners and prompted a Gator
pitching change, as O’Day out of the pen to close the
game and pick up his first save of the year.
Diaz and Valencia each had two hits for Miami, while Dickey and Leclerc
were 2-for-4 to account for UF’s offense. Florida sophomore
right-hander Bryan Augenstein
(Sebastian, Fla.) (1-0, 2.25 ERA) will oppose
UM sophomore southpaw Manny Miguelez (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
in Saturday’s contest that starts at 1 p.m. The game will be carried live on
- The Gators snapped a four-game
losing streak at Mark Light Field.
- Bryan Ball picked Jon Jay off
first base to end the first inning, the Gators’ first pickoff of the year.
- All three UF outfielders made
putouts in the fourth inning, Brian Leclerc
(RF), Chris Woods (CF) and Gavin Dickey (LF), in that order.
- Dickey made a diving stab in
the sixth inning to rob Jay of potential extra bases.