Augenstein awesome in Gators 10-4 win

Sophomore right hander Bryan Augenstein (1-0) flirted with Florida baseball history for 7.2 innings Saturday night. He mowed down 23 consecutive Cincinnati batters before left fielder Brian Szarmach punched a single through the gap into right field. The top ranked Gators (2-0) went on to win the game 10-4.

Augenstein made it look easy, too easy. His location was superb. Breaking ball crisp. Fastball untouchable. Bryan Augenstein struck out nine Bearcats- one-third of the lineup that faced him. He struck out every starter at least once except catcher Nick Maragas and right fielder Josh Harrison.

"I went out and tried to dominate the strike zone," Augenstein said. "I tried to throw as many strikes as I could. We didn't do a very good job of that last night. I tried to put the ball in the strike zone, make them hit the ball, and something happen. Tried to compete the best that I could."

"In my two starts last year, I had to pitch in this same exact stuff, so I knew that I had to pitch through it," he added. "Hopefully, I can get a little better conditions, but I'll be ready for it."

He made mistakes with three pitches, allowing a single in the eighth and two to start the ninth. Just three mistakes that got the best of him in 98 pitches. Superb. The line score simply doesn't reflect the domination by the 6-5 225 Sabastian native. He was charged with two earned runs as both base runners scored on closer Darren O'Day.

O'Day yielded four hits and a pair of earned runs in one inning of work. His pitches are much better when he is a little fatigued. There is no reason for panic, much less concern about O'Day's performance. He will improve as his workload increases.

Tonight the Gators bats warmed up in the third inning. Center fielder Chris Woods led off the inning with a bunt. He moved over on a passed ball and scored when Adam Davis took a 2-2 pitch over the left field bleachers. Brandon McArthur followed with a single to centerfield. He moved over courtesy of Matt LaPorta's deep fly ball to the center field wall that yet again was hauled in by LaFringe Hayes. Catcher Brian Jeroloman followed with a two-run blast over down the left field line to give the Gators a 4-0 lead. Florida scored a fifth run on a Bearcat error.

"It's funny, because the first day jitters- everyone gets them.," catcher Brian Jeroloman said. "You get so pumped up for the first game, because you've waited for a full year almost. I was overanxious the first day. When I got here, Coach Mac had to come up to me and say- relax and be within yourself."

"When I hit that ball I knew that I hit it pretty well. I didn't know if it was going to stay fair. I especially didn't know if it was going to go over the fence. The team always gives me stuff about not being able to hit a home run over the left of the scoreboard. So, that was the first thing that I said to the team when I hit home plate- well, that was to the left of the scoreboard."

"Lefty" Jeroloman didn't see many pitches the remainder of the game. He was hit by a pitch and walked in his next two plate appearances.

The Gators scored runs in the fifth and seventh innings in part because of Cincinnati errors. The Bearcats committed four errors in the contest.

Florida picked up big three runs in that seventh inning to drive their lead to 10-0. The big hit was delivered by Lake City Community College transfer Chris Petrie, who pinch hit and took over for Gavin Dickey in left field. Petrie ripped a two-run single to right.

But, this day belonged to Augenstein, who will get his next start in much warmer temperatures. He figures to be the Saturday starter in Coral Gables.

"He's (Augenstein) an outstanding pitcher," Jeroloman said. "He always has been. We always knew that he was an outstanding pitcher. Today is not a shocker to us, because we've always known that Bryan Augenstein is a fantastic pitcher. He gained a lot of confidence today, not just from our team, but the other team as well."

"He was basically throwing fastballs and curve balls all game today," Jeroloman continued. "Location was vital. With weather like this, that's the first thing that you've got to do. When you step into the batter's box it's not the same in this kind of weather than hot weather. And that's one thing that he really improved on today to become a better pitcher."

Jeroloman said that Augenstein improved dramatically after working out last summer. He said that he first noticed it when he returned to campus and caught him in the fall. His mound presence had significantly improved.

Florida will play Cincinnati tomorrow at noon at McKetahn Stadium. The Gators are expected to pitch left hander J.K. LaCoste. The freshman is from Jacksonville Paxon High School.

Notes:

Florida started Chipola transfer David Cash at third base. Cash went one for three with a pair of walks. He looked much more comfortable in his final three trips to the plate.

Adam Davis took over as the leadoff hitter today. Brandon McArthur was moved up to the two hole. Dropping down in the order was designated hitter Stephen Barton.

Bryson Barber took over as the designated hitter in the seventh inning. He responded with a single in his first at bat and was hit by a pitch in the eighth.


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