The victory clinched the opening series of league play for the Gators as the clubs combined for 34 hits and just one error. UF also recorded its first triple play in 11 years thanks to a 1-4-6-3 sequence during the fourth inning.
Freshman Josh Adams went 3-for-4 with four RBI and
is now 6-for-8 in the two meetings against the Tigers. Junior
right-hander Patrick Keating improved to 2-0 by
working five innings and limiting AU to one run, while sophomore righty
Kyle Mullaney notched his first career save by
registering the final out.
"Today was a very offensive day the way the wind was blowing and the
field was quick," head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We kind of felt
that it was going to be a high-scoring day and our offense did a nice
job making adjustments."
Adams and sophomore Clayton Pisani both cranked three-run
homers off sophomore Scott Shuman (2-1) to give the Gators a 6-0 lead in
the first inning. Junior Avery Barnes led off with
a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to eight games but
was erased at second on sophomore Matt den Dekker's fielder's choice. Sophomore Cole Figueroa
raised his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield hit for two
runners aboard and Adams blasted his team-leading fourth round-tripper
over the wall in center to open the scoring. Senior Jon Townsend
drew a two-out walk and sophomore Jonathan Pigott followed with his fourth double of the campaign. Pisani
then stepped to the plate and launched Shuman's 0-1 offering over the
left-field fence for his second dinger.
The Tigers countered with a run in the second on a two-out RBI single up
the middle by junior Matt Hall. Keating retired the first two batters
before juniors Ben Jones and Ryan Jenkins had consecutive singles. Hall
drove in his fourth run of the year to put Auburn on the board.
Florida answered with two more runs on four hits in the bottom of the
frame for an 8-1 margin. den Dekker set a career high with a hit in his
10th consecutive outing and Figueroa had a single to chase Shuman (1.0
IP, 7H, 8 R) from the game. Adams picked up his fourth RBI of the day
off freshman Bradley Hendrix and senior Brandon McArthur
stroked a base-knock through the right side. Still with none out, the
reliever had Townsend ground into a 4-6-3 double play and sat down
Pigott on an infield fly to strand Adams at third.
Auburn threatened by putting its first two runners on base in the
fourth, courtesy of a single by freshman Kevin Patterson and a hit by
pitch to junior Luke Greinke. However, the Gators turned a rare triple
play when Jones' hit ricocheted off Keating and was caught by second
baseman Adams. The rookie flipped to Figueroa covering second base for
the second out and then over to McArthur to catch Patterson off base for
the third one. It was the first triple play turned by Florida since
March 15, 1997 against Alabama, when the combination of current Major
Leaguers Mark Ellis (3b), David Eckstein (2b) and Brad Wilkerson (1b)
accomplished the feat.
"I've never been part of a triple play before," O'Sullivan said. "I was
more fired up than I think Keating was. It was awesome and a heads-up
play. It seems that (Josh) Adams and (Cole) Figueroa are involved in
almost every play on the field and once again they were involved in that
"The ball hit off of Keating's glove," Adams said. "There's not mucthat I can say. A triple play – that's the first time I've ever been a
part of one. I was very excited and it turned out to be a game-changing
play right there, as the momentum shifted our way."
Figueroa expanded UF's lead to 9-1 with a two-out single in the sixth.
Sophomore Buddy Munroe opened the frame with his first
double and moved to third on Barnes' groundout. Figueroa's third hit of
the game yielded his team-leading 24th RBI.
Freshman Hunter Morris clubbed his team-leading fourth homer in the
seventh to bring Auburn within 9-3. Junior Mike Bianucci laced a two-out
single off senior Josh Edmondson (2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R) and
Morris roped a 3-2 pitch to deep left for the two-run job.
UF responded in the home part of the stanza with three runs to build a
nine-run cushion. Townsend started things off with his second
four-bagger of the series and Pisani delivered a one-out single before
Munroe's double down the left-field line ended the afternoon for
Hendrix. Over 5.1 innings, the right-hander surrendered nine hits and
four runs. Barnes and den Dekker drew back-to-back walks from sophomore
Austin Hubbard to load the bases and a fielder's choice by Figueroa
resulted in a 12-3 count.
After the Tigers used an RBI single from freshman Justin Hargett off
freshman Travis Lawler to narrow the gap to
12-4 in the eighth, they reached senior Dustin Bamberg for four runs on five hits in the final inning. Freshman Tony Caldwell laced a bases-loaded, two-run double with two down, Hall had an
RBI fielder's choice and Hargett punched a run-scoring single into right
to bring AU within four runs. O'Sullivan called on Mullaney, who had
Bianucci fly out to center to end the contest.
The visitors enjoyed an 18-16 advantage in hits, as Morris was 4-for-5
with two RBI and two runs and Hargett was 3-for-6. For the Gators, the
duo of Figueroa and Adams were a combined 6-for-9 with six RBI and three
runs. Munroe, Pigott and Pisani also chipped in with two hits apiece.
Freshman Tommy Toledo (2-0, 3.00) will take the mound
Sunday at 1 p.m. live on Sun Sports against AU freshman southpaw Cory Luckie (2-1, 1.35). The Gators are trying for their second-straight
sweep of Auburn.
Courtesy UF Sports Information
Gators Clinch Series Against Auburn
Fightin Gators Top Stories
McElwain impressed with Georgia running gameThe team that has won the rushing battle in the last ten contests has won the Florida-Georgia game. That has the attention of head coach Jim McElwain as the No. 12 Gators head to…
Fightin Gators9:46 AM
One thing left for Zuniga... keep winningFlorida’s defensive line has taken a lot of hits with injuries this season, giving some young players a shot to take the field and stand out. Redshirt freshman defensive end…
Fightin Gators7:48 AM
Scout's Take: RB Malik Davis Selects FloridaScout dissects the skill set of Malik Davis, the newest Florida Gators commit and Scout's 15th-ranked running back out of the Sunshine State.
Scout Football4:24 AM
Fla.'s No. 15 RB is a Florida GatorThe South's 37th-ranked running back, Malik Davis, just committed to the Florida Gators and goes in-depth about the life-changing decision with Scout.
Scout Football3:59 AM