Davis, Gators rip Mercer 13-1

A little extra hard work never hurt anybody. The old saying holds true for Florida leadoff hitter Adam Davis. The Fort Myers native deposited southpaw Kyle Bedrosian's first pitch over the left field wall. One inning later, Davis welcomed reliever Josh Young to Gainesville with his first career Grand Slam leading 8th ranked Florida (9-2) to a 13-1 victory over Mercer.

Perhaps most impressive was the fact that Davis' took Bedrosian deep hitting from the right side and Young deep hitting left handed. It is believed that the last Florida player to accomplish the feat in a single game was current Washington Nationals star Brad Wilkerson.

Davis seemingly earned the respect of Bedrosian's father, former 1987 Cy Young Award winner Steve "Bedrock" Bedrosian, who was in attendance. After Davis struck out in the fourth, the former star of Atlanta Braves/Philadelphia Phillies yelled, "Grab some Pine, meat". Obviously, the elder Bedrosian was less than enthusiastic that Davis had helped himself to five RBI's off of his son, while torching his ERA like Sherman burning Atlanta.

Kyle Bedrosian (1-1) gave up one run on two hits in the first for Mercer (11-4). However, he walked the first four batters in the second inning. He had totally lost the zone. Twelve of Bedrosian's first fifteen pitches in the second were balls. He threw two more balls before battling back against third baseman Brandon McArthur, only to lose him on ball four with a full count. Mercer Coach Craig Gibson wasn't about to let "Rock" as his teammates called him, face Davis again. He went to the pen for Tallahassee native Josh Young, who watched his 1-2 offering sail over the fence in right field.

The Grand Slam was Davis' ninth career home run for the Gators. Each of his previous home runs had been solo shots.

"Adam did a tremendous job tonight". Florida Coach Pat McMahon said afterwards. "He was out early for batting practice, like a lot of our guys were and he really put together an outstanding performance."

First baseman Matt LaPorta (2-4) was the only other Florida player with more than one hit.

Tommy Boss, Stephen Locke, and Bryan Augenstein pitched seven shutout innings as the Gators jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Boss (2-0) gave up four hits while fanning two in three innings. Locke threw three innings of two hit ball in relief. Augenstein gave up one hit and no runs in the seventh, but ran into some trouble in the eighth after walking a batter, a Florida error, and an RBI single. Connor Falkenbach came on in relief and kept the Bears scoreless the rest of the way.

"I kept the ball down and pitched pretty well". Boss said. "My curveball was moving pretty well tonight, and I was able to pick-up a couple of strikeouts. I'm not a strikeout guy. I usually get a lot of ground balls".

Leading 6-0, the Gators scored again in the bottom half of the fifth. LaPorta led off the inning with a double to left and later scored on designated hitter Jared Kubin's single to right field.

Florida scored twice more in the seventh. Senior Jeff Corsaletti led off with a walk, and moved to second on LaPorta's single to right. Brian LeClerc's loaded the bases with a walk. However, pinch hitter Bryson Barber hit into a 6-4-3 double play, which allowed Corsaletti to score. Shortstop Justin Tordi then lined a single to right, scoring LaPorta and giving the Gators a 9-0 lead.

The Bears pitching staff walked 10 Florida batters. For the most part, the Gators have demonstrated tremendous patience at the plate this early season. Florida has accumulated 68 walks in just 11 games, 6.18 per game, which is second best in the Southeastern Conference.

The Gators finished strong with a four run eighth. Third baseman Brandon McArthur walked and moved to third on Gavin Dickey's single to short. Corsaletti then walked. McArthur scored on LaPorta's sacrifice to right field. LeClerc followed with a drive on a 3-2 pitch that cleared the right field fence and landed on the shed roof for a three-run home run.

Defensively, the play of the game was in the seventh. Right fielder LeClerc's hustled toward the line tracking down Christian Grossman's single that had double written all over it. LeClerc helped pitcher Bryan Augenstein and the Gators keep the Bears scoreless at the time.

The Gators also turned three double plays in a single game. It was the first time they have done so in '05.

Florida will play Villanova in a three game series this weekend at McKethan Stadium. The first game on Friday is scheduled to start at 6:30pm. Florida will play a pair of mid-week contests against UNC Asheville next Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Fightin Gators Top Stories