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No. 3 Florida Downs No. 18 Tennessee, 18-9, To Even Series
Alex Suarez

Alex Suarez

April 30, 2005

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 3 Florida evened its baseball series with the No. 18 Tennessee Saturday afternoon by defeating the Volunteers 18-9 at UF's McKethan Stadium. Senior Alex Suarez drove in four runs for Tennessee, but the Vols' bullpen issued a season-high 11 walks.

Adam Davis set a Florida school-record with 10 RBIs on the day to lead the Gators' offensive barrage.

The Vols scored eight runs in the final four innings but fell to 31-14 (11-8 SEC) with the loss. Florida improved to 31-11 (14-6 SEC). The series rubber game begins Sunday at noon. Right-handed junior Bryan Ball (5-1, 2.67 ERA) gets the start for UF, while Tennessee has not announced a starter.

Tennessee took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning Saturday when junior Chase Headley scored from second on an RBI single up the middle by senior shortstop Eric King.

The Gators went hitless until the bottom of the third inning, during which they batted around and scored four run on four hits. Florida's Nos. 1-4 batters all scored in the inning, with Adam Davis and Brandon McArthur each driving in one run and outfielder Brian Leclerc knocking in a pair.

Davis hit a three-run home run to left-center in the bottom of the fourth to extend Florida's lead to 7-1.

The Florida bats heated up in the bottom of the fifth inning, as the Gators batted around once again and posted seven runs on four hits. The high-scoring inning was highlighted by a three-run blast to right-center by UF first baseman Matt LaPorta.

The Vols' second run of the day came when right fielder Eli Iorg drove in senior Rob Fitzgerald with an RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. Then in the seventh inning, Suarez trimmed the Florida lead to nine runs with a three-run homer to left field. The homer was his first of the season and the fifth of his career.

Suarez drove in his fourth run of the game when he hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left field in the eighth inning, and Fitzgerald followed with a two-run blast to right-center. The home run was Fitzgerald's fourth of the year, and it made the score 14-8 in favor of Florida.

Florida sealed the victory when Davis hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, although Headley added a solo home run for Tennessee in the ninth. The homer was Headley's 12th of the year and his eighth in SEC play.

Vols starter James Adkins (6-2) tossed four innings and took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Redshirt freshman right-hander Chase Hardin replaced Adkins and was lifted after giving up five runs on two hits in 1/3 inning.

Left-handed junior Trey Bridges pitched 1 2/3 innings for the Vols and was touched for two runs on three hits with three walks and one strikeout. Fellow junior lefty Mike Kerfeld then entered the game and walked three batters while striking out one in one inning on the mound.

Junior right-hander Jabe Beard pitched the final inning for UT and surrendered two runs on one hit with a pair of walks.

Gators right-hander Alan Horne threw 6 1/3 quality innings for the Gators and picked up the win to improve to 5-2. He allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Horne gave way to right-hander Connor Falkenbach, who struck out five while giving up four runs (one earned) on three hits.

 

 

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