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Sunday March 5, 2006Texas A&M Defeats No. 5 Baseball, 1-0, To Capture Series

Gainesville, FL

Behind the shutout pitching of junior Austin Creps, junior Matt Ueckert and sophomore Jordan Chambless, Texas A&M (13-2) notched the series victory over fifth-ranked Florida (9-6), 1-0, on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 3,018 at McKethan Stadium. The Aggies blanked the Gators in both the opener and the rubber game of the set. Creps (2-1) collected five strikeouts over 7.1 innings and limited the Gators to three singles. UF had not dropped a series to a non-conference opponent at home since falling twice to Florida State over Feb. 19 & 20, 2000 (6-2 and 17-8).


“I was very pleased with the way Tommy Wynn stepped forward and pitched us out of some jams,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “I thought we made quality plays to keep the game close, but we elevated too many balls. We have to be more selective and put the ball on the ground. These guys have great character and will push through.”


Courtesy of a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch with two out, the Aggies plated the game’s lone run in the second inning. Junior Adam Hale singled up the middle with one down and junior Josh Stinson drew a walk from junior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.). After junior Parker Dalton flew out to right field, senior John Infante reached on an infield error to fill the sacks. Gawriluk hit sophomore Blake Stouffer to bring across Hale but then had senior Jose Salazar fly out to right field. 


Gawriluk (0-2, 3.0 IP, 3 H) issued a leadoff walk to Hale in the fourth and was replaced by sophomore Tommy Wynn (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Stinson greeted the reliever with a base-hit into right to give Texas A&M runners on the corners. With Dalton at the plate, the Aggies’ suicide squeeze was unsuccessful when Wynn fielded the bunt and threw to junior catcher Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.). Sophomore pinch hitter Keith Stein, Jr., delivered a single to load the bases with one down before Wynn set down Stouffer (flyout) and Salazar (groundout) to escape the jam.  


Hale and Stinson stroked consecutive singles to start things off for Texas A&M in the sixth. However, Dalton’s bunt attempt to advance the runners was fielded by junior first baseman Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.), forcing Hale at third base. Wynn had Stein ground into a 4-6-3 double play to keep the margin at 1-0. Over three innings, in which he allowed four hits, Wynn kept the visitors off the board.


Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) produced UF’s third and final hit of the afternoon with a one-out single in the seventh. Creps answered with a strikeout of junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) and Davis was thrown out attempting to steal second to end the inning.


Pride was hit by a pitch to open the eighth for the Gators and Jeroloman’s grounder to short was booted, giving the hosts a pair of runners on base. Creps popped Neer up for the first out and was lifted for Ueckert, who retired junior pinch hitter David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) on a fly ball to center. Chambless came out of the bullpen and had sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) fly out to left on his first pitch to keep Florida scoreless.        


Dalton punched a one-out double in the ninth off junior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.), who had taken over at the beginning of the inning after freshman J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.) had put down all six Aggie batters he faced. Jeroloman gunned down Dalton trying to swipe third base before junior Craig Stinson laced a pinch-hit single into left. The Gators used a 1-3-6 rundown to catch Stinson stealing to end the frame. The reliever picked up his third save of the season after a 1-2-3 ninth.


For Texas A&M, Hale and Josh Stinson were both 2-for-3 as the visitors held a 9-3 advantage. The Gators’ hits came from Davis, Jeroloman and Pride. The Aggies’ pitching staff limited the Orange and Blue to a .145 (12-for-83) batting average, while Florida’s hurlers held A&M to a .189 (18-for-95) performance on the weekend. 


The Gators will meet Aoyama Gakuin from Japan in an exhibition game tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. UF will host UNC Greensboro on Tuesday and Wednesday at McKethan Stadium before welcoming defending Ivy League champion Harvard to town next weekend.


Game Notes

  • Matt LaPorta missed his seventh-straight game and remains day-to-day with an oblique strain.
  • Today was the first time all season that the Gators used the same lineup in consecutive outings.
  • Florida turned its 20th double play of the year with a 3-6-1 combination in the fifth.
  • The Gators are an even 6-6 at home in 2006.
  • Tommy Wynn’s three innings were the longest relief stint of his career.





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