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Tuesday February 28, 2006No. 6 Florida State Edges No. 5 Baseball, 6-4

Gainesville, FL

Sixth-ranked Florida State snapped a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fifth to hand fifth-ranked Florida a 6-4 defeat on Tuesday night in front of 4,601 fans at McKethan Stadium. The crowd was the fifth-largest mid-week attendance in school history for the Gators. The Seminoles (11-1) received a career-high 6.1 innings from junior Tyler Chambliss (4-0) and home runs from sophomores Dennis Guinn and Tony Thomas, Jr., to send UF (8-4) to its third loss in four games.

 

“I thought that Florida State pitched and competed very well, and (Tyler) Chambliss pitched an outstanding game for them,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “We got better tonight in all phases of the game. Our bench was quality, we received a quality start from Kris (Gawriluk) and we pitched fairly well out of the bullpen. Florida State was very well prepared, they put up six runs and I thought that was the biggest thing – their ability to expand the lead. Good clubs find a way to win games, we are not a good club yet but we are working at it and taking steps to improve.”

 

“I thought we improved tonight as a team toward the end,” said junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.). “We could not score more runs than FSU and I take the blame for that. I had opportunities to drive in guys and I did not get the job done.”

 

The Gators opened the scoring in the first on an RBI single to left by junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.). Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) legged out an infield hit with one down and Dickey’s grounder to short was misplayed, resulting in a pair of runners aboard. Leclerc laced a 1-1 pitch from Chambliss into left to score Davis and a grounder by junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) advanced Dickey and Leclerc into scoring position. Chambliss had junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) ground out to end the inning.

 

Florida State evened the score at 1-1 in the fourth on Guinn’s team-leading fourth homer, a solo shot with two down into the left-field bleachers off junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.). Although Leclerc smacked a leadoff double to right in the bottom of the frame, Chambliss set down the next three hitters to keep the game tied.

 

The Seminoles tallied three runs on three hits in the fifth to seize a 4-1 lead. Thomas laced a one-out single to right and redshirt freshman Mark Gildea followed with a walk. Batting .051 entering the game, junior Danny Diaz ripped a two-run double to give FSU a two-run advantage. After Gawriluk issued a free pass to junior Shane Robinson, he was replaced by junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.). Making his first Division I start, Gawriluk (0-1) allowed five hits and four runs over 4.1 frames. Sophomore Jack Rye greeted the reliever with an RBI single up the middle before the lefty had junior Ryne Malone pop-up to short. Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) took over on the hill and had Guinn ground out.

 

In the home portion of the stanza, sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) had a base-hit into shallow center and senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch. Davis delivered an RBI single to right to narrow the gap to 4-2 but Chambliss worked out of the jam by having Dickey ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

 

Thomas connected on his third homer of the season, a two-run jack in the sixth with junior Josh Spivey aboard, to provide Florida State with a 6-2 cushion. Diaz and Robinson had back-to-back two-out singles to prompt another Gator pitching change, as junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) replaced Edmondson. Although Rye walked on four pitches to load the bases, Porter jammed Malone on an infield pop-up to Davis.

 

Florida mounted a threat in the seventh but could only close the gap to 6-3. Freshman pinch hitter Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) notched his first collegiate hit to start things off and moved to second on a throwing error on the play. McArthur followed with a walk and Barton singled to right to fill the sacks for the Gators. Davis was hit by a pitch to bring across Barnes and end the night for Chambliss (106 pitches, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K) in favor of senior Brent Marsh. The right-hander induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play by Dickey to preserve the three-run lead for the ‘Noles.

 

Pride pulled the Orange and Blue to within 6-4 in the eighth by belting his first homer as a Gator. The hit was the first surrendered by Marsh in six innings this season. Jeroloman was hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position on freshman Cody Neer’s (Orlando, Fla.) liner that struck Marsh. Southpaw Matt DiBlasi came out of the bullpen and had senior Greg Quatrino (Tampa, Fla.) ground out to keep FSU ahead. Junior Luke Tucker worked a 1-2-3 ninth, with two strikeouts, to collect his second save.

 

FSU held a 10-8 advantage in hits, as Diaz, Guinn and Thomas chipped in with two hits apiece. Davis and Leclerc were each 2-for-4 to lead the Gators. Each squad stranded seven runners on base.        

 

Game Notes

  • Matt LaPorta missed his fourth-straight game for the Gators and remains day-to-day with an oblique strain.
  • Brian Leclerc recorded his fourth multiple-hit outing off the season.
  • The Gators had allowed two homers through 11 games entering tonight before the Seminoles had two.
  • Florida fell to 5-4 at McKethan Stadium with the loss.
  • UF was hit three more times tonight, giving them 24 HBP this year.

 

-UF-

 

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