March 21, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Three Florida pitchers held Tennessee scoreless for eight innings on Saturday while leading the Gators to a 10-2 series-clinching victory over the Volunteers at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Tennessee (9-11, 1-4 SEC) scored its two runs in the top of the ninth inning to avoid its second shutout of the season. Left fielder P.J. Polk scored on pinch hitter Charley Thurber's double to center field followed by a run-scoring fielder's choice off the bat of second baseman Cody Grisham.
Starter pitcher Stephen McCray (1-3) went 2-2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season for Tennessee. The junior gave up a season-high six runs on nine hits and struck out one.
Right-hander Clint Franklin (1-0) earned the victory for Florida after pitching 3-2/3 shutout innings. Franklin did not allow a hit.
Florida (13-7, 2-3 SEC) knocked out 16 hits on the day, two shy of its season high 18, as it clinched its first SEC series of the season. All nine Gator starters recorded at least one hit.
Florida took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back home runs by left fielder Avery Barnes and catcher Buddy Munroe. Barnes hit a two-run home run to right field which Munroe followed with a solo homer. Four of Barnes' eight career home runs have come against the Volunteers.
The Gators added three more runs in the third to make the score 6-0. Barnes drove in the first run with an RBI groundout to first. First baseman Preston Tucker then sent an RBI single up the middle to score Josh Adams who reached on a single of his own. Then, after UF loaded the bases, right fielder Jonathan Pigott walked to drive home Tucker. Florida sent nine batters to the plate and recorded four hits in the inning.
Florida added a run in the fourth and three in the sixth to take a 10-0 lead into the top of the ninth.
Senior right-hander Ryne Simpson pitched to two batters in the third inning and issued walks to both. Freshman Adam Adkins went one inning for the Vols, allowing one run on no hits while walking one and striking out two. Matt Ramsey, Jeff Lockwood and Steven Gruver pitched the final 3-1/3 innings, allowing a combined three run on seven hits.
Florida starter Nick Maronde exited the game with a 2-0 count on UT third baseman Tyler Horne in the top of the fourth inning. Maronde pitched three innings, limiting the Vols to two hits while walking two and striking out four. Will Jolin pitched the final 2-1/3 innings of the game for the Gators.
The two teams return to the field at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday.