Junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
snapped a 1-1 tie with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Miami sophomore left-hander Manny Miguelez and No. 1 Florida added two more runs in the ninth
to notch a 4-1 victory over No. 16 Miami in front of a sellout crowd on
Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field. Sophomore right-hander Bryan Augenstein
limited the Hurricanes (6-5) to one run over seven innings to move his mark to
2-0 and help the Gators (5-1) clinch their first series triumph at Miami since 2002.
outstanding college baseball game this afternoon,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “One swing by either team
could have determined the outcome and fortunately Matt (LaPorta)
came through for us. The two-out double in the ninth by Brian Leclerc was also a clutch hit and gave us some breathing
room. Another key to the game was a tremendous pitching effort by Bryan Augenstein and I was pleased with the performance of Josh
Edmondson, Steven Porter and Darren O’Day out of the
SEC Player of the Year, LaPorta’s first round-tripper
of the season was the 41st of his career, breaking a tie with Ben Harrison (2001-04) for second on
the school’s all-time list. Currently a member of the Texas Rangers, Brad Wilkerson (1996-98) holds the Florida standard with 55
tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the ninth off Miami junior closer Chris Perez to take a 4-1
lead. Junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) earned
a one-out walk and senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.)
smacked his second double of ’06 into left field to put Florida in business with one down. A wild
pitch from Perez allowed Cash to score the third run as Woods advanced to
third. Perez set down junior Adam Davis
(Ft. Myers, Fla.) on a groundout and junior Brian
Fla.) produced his
team-leading third double to give UF a three-run cushion.
Davis delivered a two-out RBI single in the second frame to put Florida on the board. Junior
Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
started things off with a base-hit through the left side and was sacrificed
over by junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.).
Woods reached on a two-out error by the shortstop to put runners on the corners
followed with a flare into left to score Pride. Leclerc
was hit to load the bases but LaPorta popped up to
second base to keep the margin at 1-0.
Hurricanes tied the game in the fourth on an RBI double by freshman Yonder
Alonso. Junior Jon Jay rifled a leadoff single up the middle and junior Danny
Valencia laid down a bunt to move his teammate into scoring position. Alonso then
sent a 3-0 pitch from Augenstein off the wall in
right center for his fourth two-bagger of the season to knot the contest at 1-1.
The right-hander forced a flyout by senior Tommy
Giles and issued a walk to rookie Dennis Raben before
having sophomore Walter Diaz ground out to Davis to end the inning.
Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
replaced Augenstein (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 K) prior to
the bottom of the eighth and retired freshman Jemile
Weeks on a grounder. Jay reached on a fielding error by LaPorta
and moved to second on Valencia’s
ground out. Junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.)
stranded the runner with a strikeout of Alonso to preserve UF’s
issued a walk to senior Tommy Giles to open UM’s
ninth and was replaced by senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville,
Fla.). The right-hander
jammed junior pinch hitter Richard O’Brien on an infield fly and then induced a
game-ending double play grounder by Diaz to collect his second save in as many
out-hit the Hurricanes, 7-5, as Davis and LaPorta
each contributed two hits. Five different Miami
players had one hit apiece, while Miguelez (1-1)
registered a career-high seven strikeouts with one walk over eight innings. UF
will send freshman southpaw J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville,
0.00 ERA) to the bump in tomorrow’s series finale against UM sophomore
left-hander Scott Maine (0-0, 0.00 ERA). The game will air at noon live
on Sun Sports.
- Today was Bryan Augenstein’s first career road start.
- Adam Davis was in a 0-for-9
drought before singling in his first two at bats.
- Matt LaPorta
has drawn a walk in all six of Florida’s
games this season.
- Florida’s bullpen has worked four scoreless innings in
the series, allowing two hits.