top-ranked Gator baseball team edged No. 16 Miami, 11-10, on Sunday afternoon
in front of an overflow crowd 2,800 fans at Mark Light Field to complete a
sweep of the weekend series. Florida (6-1) had
never been perfect against the Hurricanes (6-6) in a three-game set and became
the first team to take all three games at Mark Light Field since Florida State accomplished the feat over April
12-14, 2002. In addition, UF was undefeated in the season series versus Miami for just the sixth time following 2-0 triumphs in
1948 (Gainesville), 1954 (Coral
Gables), 1956 (Coral Gables), 1976 (Gainesville) and 1978 (Gainesville).
trailing by a run with one out in the bottom of the ninth, freshman Dennis Raben reached Gator senior closer Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) for a
double off the left-field fence. However, the right-hander buckled down to
strike out junior Gus Menendez and had junior Eddy Rodriguez line out to right
to end the game. O’Day worked 1.2 innings, allowing
two hits with two K, en route to his third save of the weekend. Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
picked up his first collegiate win after giving up five hits and three runs
over 2.2 frames, with junior Ricky Orta (1-1) on the
hook for the defeat despite a career-high seven strikeouts and one hit allowed
over four innings.
The Gators sent
12 batters to the plate in the second inning and jumped out to a 6-0 lead with
one hit, three walks and four hit batters. Juniors Brian Jeroloman (Wellington,
Fla.) and Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee,
Fla.) began the frame by
being hit by sophomore left-hander Scott Maine. Junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) was caught looking at strikes for the first out
and junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.)
followed with a base-hit into right to load the bases. A free pass to sophomore
Brandon McArthur (Seffner,
Fla.) brought across the first run and a
fielding error by the UM catcher on senior Chris
Woods’ (Gainesville, Fla.) tapper back to the
mound resulted in a 2-0 score. Still with the sacks full, junior Adam Davis (Ft. Myers,
Fla.) was plunked and junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
walked to yield two more runs.
replaced Maine (1.1 IP, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 HBP) and junior Matt
greeted the reliever with a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Woods. Jeroloman drew a two-out walk to load the bases and Dickey
was hit for the second time in the frame, scoring Davis with the sixth run.
Hurricanes narrowed the gap to 6-1 on an unearned run in the bottom of the
second. Freshman Yonder Alonso roped a leadoff double to right field and scored
when senior Tommy Giles’ grounder was booted. The Gators turned their second
double play of the contest and freshman J.K.
Fla.) had Rodriguez pop up to Davis to end the stanza.
two UF errors, Miami
pulled to within 6-4 in the third. LaCoste retired
the first two hitters he faced but then issued a walk to sophomore Walter Diaz.
McArthur committed his second error of the game to allow junior Jon Jay to
extend the inning. A throwing error by Cash on junior Danny Valencia’s grounder
enabled Diaz to score and Alonso delivered a two-run single to trim the
Hurricanes’ deficit to two runs. Entering as a pinch hitter, Raben sliced a single into right, ending the afternoon for LaCoste. The southpaw worked 2.2 innings, giving up three
hits and four runs (zero earned). Sophomore Tommy Wynn (Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla.) had Menendez fly out to
center on his initial pitch to strand the pair of runners.
and freshman Blake Tekotte opened the bottom of the
fourth with consecutive singles off Wynn but the right-hander was able to work
out of the jam. The sophomore fanned rookie Jemile
Weeks and had Diaz ground out to Cash, a play which was converted into an
inning-ending double play.
Miami rallied for three hits and three
runs with two down in the fifth to seize a 7-6 advantage. Wynn recorded two
quick outs before Alonso collected his third hit of the afternoon with a single
up the middle and Raben walked. Menendez sliced a 1-2
pitch from Wynn down the left-field line for a double to even the score and
prompt a Gator pitching change. Rodriguez tagged Edmondson’s first pitch for another two-bagger to
put the hosts in front and the right-hander had Tekotte
ground out to close the inning.
just one hit through their first five at bats, the Gators erupted for four runs
on three hits in the sixth to grab a 10-7 lead. Woods drew a leadoff walk from Orta and raced down to second on a wild pitch. Although the
hurler responded with strikeout of Davis,
Leclerc followed with a game-tying ground-rule double
into the right-field corner. After issuing an intentional walk to LaPorta, the slugger’s second of the season, Orta was lifted for senior Andrew Lane. Jeroloman
stepped to the dish and stroked an RBI single up the middle to bring Leclerc across with tying run. LaPorta
advanced to third and Jeroloman took second on the
relay throw, resulting in an intentional walk to Dickey with first base open.
The maneuver backfired for the Hurricanes when sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola,
Fla.) powered a ground-rule,
two-run double to the fence in left for three-run Florida advantage. Lane
prevented further trouble with consecutive strikeouts of Cash and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.).
An RBI single
by Barber in the eighth boosted UF’s lead to 11-7. LaPorta opened the frame with an infield hit and was erased
on Jeroloman’s fielder’s choice. Dickey was plunked
for the third time in the game to give the Gators two runners aboard and Barber
ripped junior Danny Gil’s 0-2 pitch into right for his career-high third RBI of
Miami stormed back with three runs on
three hits in the home portion of the eighth to narrow the gap to 11-10. Menendez
opened with a free pass and Rodriguez poked a base-hit to give the Hurricanes
runners on the corners. Tekotte’s grounder narrowed
the gap to 11-8 and a one-out single by Weeks prompted McMahon to relieve
Edmondson with O’Day. The righty
had Diaz ground out, advancing both runners into scoring position. After Jay
came through with a clutch two-run single to right to pull UM within one, O’Day was called for a balk to advance Jay. The runner was
stranded when O’Day induced an inning-ending grounder
by Valencia to Davis.
second time in the series, Miami
out-hit the Gators, today by a 14-6 margin. Alonso was 3-for-5 with two RBI and
two runs and Rodriguez was 3-for-5 to lead the ‘Canes. For Florida, Barber was 2-for-3 with three RBI, Leclerc was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Jeroloman
(1-for-3) scored a game-high three runs. Florida
returns to action on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. when it hosts Florida A&M at McKethan Stadium. The
Gators handled the Rattlers twice last season, 17-2 and 18-3.
- With a season-high five double
plays this afternoon, the Gators have now turned 11 on the season.
- Bryson Barber notched his first
career stolen base in the fifth inning.
- Gavin Dickey tied Jimmy Bell’s
school record of being hit three times in one game. Bell
accomplished the feat against Tennessee
on April 28, 1990.
- The Gators batted .172
(17-for-99) on the weekend but recorded a 2.67 earned run average.
- Brian Leclerc
led the way with a .333 (4-for-12) clip, three RBI and two doubles.
- Florida has now taken its last five
meetings with Miami.