Bears Force #16 Florida Into Extra Innings In Near Upset
March 13, 2004
Gainesville, FL - The Brown baseball team forced #16 Florida into extra innings in the second game of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon, as the Gators snuck away with a 6-5 victory in ten innings of play. Brown, which opened up the season last night in game one against the 17-3 Gators, is 0-2 on the year.
The Gators got on the board first in opening inning on a double by preseason All-American Ben Harrison that scored Jonathon Tucker, w ho reached on a lead-off walk.
The next two innings went scoreless for both teams as Brown starting pitcher Shaun McNamara (Worcester, MA) allowed just one hit. The Bears' bats came alive in the top of the fourth as they scored three runs to take a 3-1 advantage.
The rally started when junior James Lowe (Asheboro, NC) made it all the way to third on a throwing error by Tucker. Christian made Florida pay as he ripped a double down the left field line, easily scoring Lowe.
Freshman Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) earned a walk following the run and Hughes continued his hot hitting as he recorded a double of his own, this time down the right field line, allowing the Bears second and third runs of the inning to cross the plate. Hughes knocked a two-run homer over the fence last night against the Gators.
Florida answered right back in the bottom of the inning, getting three runs on two hits, to take a one run lead. The damage could have been much worse though as the Gators left the bases loaded. Freshman Clint Dykehouse (Gainesville, FL) made his collegiate debut in the inning, entering the game with two on and two out.
Despite hitting the first batter he faced, Dykehouse got the Bears out of the jam as Florida stranded its 6th, 7th, and 8th runners on the day.
The Bears regained the lead in the top of the fifth as Deeb led-off the inning with a single through the right side. Junior Chris Contrino (Marlboro, NJ) then doubled down the right field line, bringing home Deeb to tie the game at 4 a piece.
The string of hits continued as junior Jeff Nichols (Medford, NJ) singled up the middle to move Contrino over to third as Nichols advanced to second on a throw. Lowe reached base on a fielder's choice that took no one out, loading up the bases for the Bears with still no one out.
Christian brought home Contrino on a sacrifice fly in the next at bat for the Bears, giving them a 5-4 lead. The Gators were able to make a double play out of it, however, as Nichols was gunned down trying to advance to third. Brown was unable to produce another run in the inning as it left two on base.
Dykehouse shutout Florida in the fifth, allowing just a walk in the inning. In the top of the sixth, Brown went down one, two, three as the Gators knotted up the score in the bottom of the inning thanks to two stolen bases by Adam Davis, who led off the inning with a walk. Davis stole second and third and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
The score would remain tied for the next three and a half innings as Brown found its way out of two deep holes in the eighth and ninth, forcing extra inning. Florida opened up the bottom of the eight with a pair of singles but the Bears completed a twin killing to knock out two on the next play.
In the ninth, lefty Brian Hagerty (Nashua, NH) came in to relieve senior Sam Jennings (New Ashford, MA) with the bases loaded and one out. The sophomore got the Gators to ground into a double play to end the inning with the score still tied 5-5.
Florida got the winning run in the bottom of the tenth as it just slide by with the 6-5 victory, keeping its winning streak alive at 13.
Overall, the Gators stranded 18 runners on ten hits while Brown left seven on seven hits in the 3 hour and 45 minute long game.
Freshman Bryan Tews (Park Ridge, IL), who took to the mound in the tenth with the winning run already on base, was charged with the loss. Brown used a total of five pitchers on the afternoon.
McNamara pitched three and two-thirds, allowing five hits and striking out four. Dykehouse went one and two-thirds with no hits and one run. Jennings had a strong outing, going three full innings allowing no runs on four hits.
Brown will wrap-up the series with Florida tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. The Bears will look to avoid the sweep as sophomore right-hander James Cramphin (Simsbury, CA) will make his season debut on the mound.