SIX BITS: Baseball wins, Baker OK, seven Gators qualify, tennis updates, lacrosse rookie of year

By Adam Silverstein
May 28, 2010

1 » Faced with elimination, top-seeded No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (41-4) rode past the No. 12 Arkansas Razorbacks (40-18) 5-4 in the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday at Regions Park in Hoover, AL. Sophomore starter Alex Panteliodis (9-2) picked up the win, tossing 6.2 innings, striking out five and giving up three earned runs. Junior closer Kevin Chapman earned his 11th save of the season, though he did give up a run in the ninth and final inning of the game. Freshman third baseman Austin Maddox (2-4) led the way with two RBI, and freshman shortstop Nolan Fontana (2-3) scored two runs. Florida will face Vanderbilt (41-16) in the second elimination game of the tournament Friday evening, airing live at ESPN3.com.

2 » Still making touchdowns – but now for the Jacksonville Sharks of the AFL – former Gators wide receiver Dallas Baker was faced with an injury scare Saturday night in a 46-44 win over the Cleveland Gladiators. “I thought I tore something,” Baker told The Florida Times-Union. Instead Baker, who scored twice during the game before falling to the turf, suffered a sprain according to an MRI exam after the game. He is second on the team this season with 416 yards and nine touchdowns in five games played.

Four more BITS on track & field qualifiers, tennis’ NCAA wins and losses and a Gator winning Rookie of the Year…after the break!

3 » Competing in the first day of the 2010 NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track on Thursday, seven members of Florida’s highly ranked track and field teams qualified for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships. They include throwers senior Mariam Kevkhishvili (first – women’s shot put), Keely Medeiros (fifth – shot put), Fidela James (10th – shot put) and Evelien Dekkers (first – women’s javelin), sophomore jumper Christian Taylor (first – men’s long jump), senior jumper Shara Proctor (third – women’s long jump) and freshman runner Josh Izewski (12th – men’s 10,000m run). Nine other Gators, including sophomore sprinter Jeff Demps (first – men’s 100m dash), qualified for 2010 NCAA Quarterfinals action.

4 » Florida’s No. 8-ranked freshman Allie Will advanced to the third round of the 2010 NCAA National Championship tournament with a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win over UCLA’s Andrea Remynse at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. Later in the day, the No. 5 pair of Will and senior Marrit Boonstra moved into the second round of doubles competition with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Michigan’s No. 19 pair of Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno. Unfortunately, the No. 26 duo of freshman Lauren Embree and senior Anastasia Revzina fell to California’s No. 9 pair of Mari Anderson and Jana Juricova 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-1, knocking them out of the tournament. Will is set to take on a chief rival, Georgia’s No. 12 Chelsey Gullickson, in the round of 16 Friday; she and Boonstra will compete later in the day in a doubles match against a team from Stetson.

5 » News was not as positive for Gators men’s tennis and junior Alexandre Lacroix, who lost twice Thursday. Lacroix first dropped his singles match 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to Pepperdine’s Bassam Beidas before teaming with redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau to fall in straight sets – 6-4, 6-3 to Oklahoma’s pair of Andrei Daescu and Costin Paval. Men’s tennis is now eliminated from National Championship competition.

6 » Easily the most dominant force on Florida lacrosse during its inaugural season, freshman attacker Ashley Bruns was named the 2010 Rookie of the Year by WomensLax.com on Friday. Leading the Gators in three categories – points (79), goals (48) and assists (30), this is the second such honor won by Bruns, who was also named the 2010 ALC Rookie of the Year a few weeks ago.

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