a six-run second inning and a 14-hit offensive outburst, top-ranked Florida (7-1) notched a
15-5 win over Florida A&M on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium. Junior Matt LaPorta (Port
Charlotte, Fla.) belted his
third career grand slam and classmate Gavin
Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) (2-for-4) equaled his career high
with four runs batted in to lift the Gators to their 15th straight triumph over
the Rattlers (1-10). Sophomore Josh
Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) (2-0) threw two scoreless frames and established a career-high with four
strikeouts to collect the victory.
answered the call tonight,” said Pat
McMahon. “Although Florida A&M put up numbers,
we countered with offensive production with two outs. While constant
bombardment is important, we have to get some guys to step forward offensively
and on the mound. I was impressed with our home crowd tonight, it means a lot
to the ballclub when we have a significant home-field
Florida A&M’s first three hitters of the contest reached base
against freshman Jarrod Langlois (Jacksonville, Fla.) as the visitors built a
2-0 lead. Junior Stanley Gnat opened the game with a single into left field and
senior Chris Lee followed with an RBI double down the left-field line. A wild pitch
advanced Lee to third and sophomore Corey McFaden
punched a single to give the visitors a two-run advantage. McFaden
moved into scoring position with his second stolen base of the season and took
third on a grounder by sophomore Allen DeCambra but
was stranded to end the frame.
answered in the bottom of the first with a two-run double by junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.)
to even the score. Juniors Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) and
Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.)
had back-to-back singles before junior Blair Mercer (0-2, 8 H, 8 R) retired LaPorta on an infield fly. Jeroloman
stepped to the dish and produced his second two-bagger
of the year into the right-field to drive in his teammates.
rally in the second by Florida,
highlighted by LaPorta’s towering homer and a two-run
triple by Dickey, resulted in an 8-2 margin. Sophomore Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) led off with a single to right and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro,
N.C.) was hit by a pitch with
one down. After a walk to Davis
loaded the bases, Mercer fanned Petrie. LaPorta then launched
a 0-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his second homer of the campaign.
Jeroloman earned a free pass and junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
sliced a single before Dickey’s triple to straightaway center gave the hosts a
Freshman Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.)
took over for Langlois (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 K) in the
third and Decambra came through with a two-out RBI
single to make the score 8-3. After Spottswood put
down the first two hitters, McFaden singled up the
middle and junior Anthony Mazzeo earned a free pass
to set the table for Decambra.
added two runs in the fourth on a broken bat two-run single by Dickey to build
a 10-2 cushion. Jeroloman reached on an error to
start things off and Leclerc walked before a wild
pitch by junior reliever Stephen Register uncorked a wild pitch to put the
runners in scoring position. In a bizarre play, Dickey shattered the aluminum
bat on a 3-2 offering with a base-hit into left to match his career best of
singles by FAMU to open the sixth ended the stint for junior reliever Patrick Thompson (Gainesville,
Fla.), who had worked a
scoreless fifth in which he allowed one hit. With the sacks full, senior Kevin Clethan greeted Edmondson with a sacrifice fly to center.
However, the submariner prevented further damage with consecutive strikeouts of
Gnat and Lee to hold the count at 10-4.
increased its margin to 15-4 with five runs on three hits in the eighth. Facing
junior Matt Davis, Leclerc drew a leadoff walk, Dickey
was hit by a pitch for the fourth time in the last two games and senior pinch
hitter Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.)
earned a base on balls to fill the bags and force a pitching change. Freshman
pinch hitter Cody Neer
stroked a two-run single off junior Austin Dill and a flyout
by Gaski pushed Barton to third. Davis’
infield hit brought across another run and senior Chris Woods (Gainesville, Fla.) singled to
load the bases again. Junior Austin
Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
notched his first RBI as a Gator with a groundout and a passed ball enabled Davis to score the hosts’
the ninth with a walk against freshman Matt
Hightower (Cartersville, Ga.) and stole second. A base-hit by Lee
gave the Rattlers runners on the corners, but the southpaw countered with a
punch-out of McFaden. A balk by Hightower allowed
Gnat to score and Lee to occupy second. However, the left-hander closed out
FAMU by retiring Mazzeo and Decambra.
players turned in multiple-hit outings for McMahon’s team: Davis (2-for-3, three runs, three walks), Jeroloman (2-for-4, two RBI, two runs), Dickey and Petrie
(2-for-4). The Rattlers tallied 12 hits against UF’s
six pitchers, as Lee, Mazzeo, McFaden
and Elvin Millan chipped in with two apiece.
will welcome No. 12 Missouri (4-2), Ohio
State (0-0) and Wake Forest
(3-3) to McKethan Stadium this weekend for The Pepsi
Baseball Classic, a three-day round-robin event. The Buckeyes and Demon Deacons
will start the event on Friday at 2 p.m., with the hosts facing the Tigers at
6:30 p.m. Senior right-hander Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.)
(2-0, 0.75 ERA) will start for Florida against
junior All-American Max Scherzer (1-0, 1.50 ERA), the
2005 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year.
- Entering tonight, the Gators
had surrendered one run in the first inning through seven games.
- Chris Petrie made his first
start at UF in left field.
- Matt LaPorta
now has 42 career home runs: 19 solo, 10 two-run, 10 three-run and three
- Gavin Dickey also had four RBI
on Feb. 12.
- Josh Edmondson won Sunday’s
game at No. 16 Miami (Fla.)
for his first collegiate win.
- The Gators’ 14 hits matched
their second-highest output of the campaign, one behind the 15 versus Cincinnati on opening
night, Feb. 10.