Gator Baseball Sweeps Tigers!
Florida (14-13/4-2 SEC) completed a three-game sweep ofÂ number 21 Auburn (18-9/0-6 SEC) with a 10-3 triumph on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park. Senior Matt LaPorta went 4-for-4, drove in four runs and launched a pair of homers for his fifth career multi-HR game. The slugger was 7-for-13 (.538) in the series with three doubles, threeÂ homeruns and seven RBI.Â
Senior David Hurst had a five-inning relief stint, scattering three hits and permitting one run, to collect his first victory of the campaign. At 4-2 in league play, the Gators find themselves in a log-jam atop the SEC standings.
LaPorta provided the Gators with a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with a towering homer to left center off sophomore Evan Crawford. On the strength of three hits, UF grabbed a 4-0 lead in the third. Sophomore Cody Neer (Orlando, Fla.) opened with a single into left and moved into scoring position courtesy of his third stolen base. Senior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.), the league's top hitter in conference games, bashed an RBI double to straightaway center field and freshman Jake Hicks (Molino, Fla.) was hit by a pitch with one down. Freshman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) executed a hit and run to drive in Leclerc and left the Gators with runners on the corners. Crawford induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play on a grounder by junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) to hold his club?s deficit at four runs.
In the bottom of the frame, Auburn used a two-out rally to narrow the gap to 4-2 on a two-run single by freshman Joseph Sanders. Freshman Billy Bullock (Valrico, Fla.) retired the first two batters before issuing a walk to freshman Dustin Spruill. Rookie Robert Brooks' base-hit was followed by a free pass to freshman Ross Smith to load the sacks and Sanders put the hosts on the board by slicing a single just under the grasp of Townsend at third.
A sacrifice fly by Neer in the fourth resulted in a 5-2 lead for Florida. LaPorta smacked a double high off the Green Monster in left and senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) earned a walk before Crawford uncorked a wild pitch to advance both runners. Neer's second sac fly was deep enough in center to plate LaPorta. After yielding a leadoff walk to sophomore Luke Greinke in the home part of the stanza, Bullock was replaced by Hurst. Over four innings, the rookie right-hander allowed four hits and a pair of runs, with four walks and two strikeouts.
The Gators broke the game wide open with four runs on three hits and two AU errors in the sixth for a 9-2 bulge.
Florida returns to McKethan Stadium on Tuesday night for a mid-week matchup with Bethune-Cookman. The Gators next SEC action will be at Eastern Division rival Georgia (9-14/3-3 SEC). The Bulldogs swept Auburn last week but then dropped all three games at Tennessee this weekend.
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