FOUR BITS: Smith & Perry, baseball, WNIT berth

1 » As OGGOA reported via Twitter over the weekend, former Florida Gators and NFL star running back Emmitt Smith has announced that he asked Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to induct him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, Smith was not worrying about his acceptance speech over the weekend, as he teamed with other former Gators and celebrities including head coach Urban Meyer to raise money for his former fullback and still close friend Darryl Perry‘s charity – Miracle of Life Foundation. “Darryl led me back then and he leads me now,” Smith told the Orlando Sentinel. “Except now he leads me with his heart.”

2 » After postponing a series last week due to inclimate weather, No. 6/7 Florida baseball (12-3) snuck a game against Army Black Knights (5-4) into the schedule Monday night. Playing at home at McKethan Stadium, the Gators earned a 9-3 victory as sophomore starter Anthony DeSclafani tossed a season-high 5.2 innings. Sophomore designated hitter Preston Tucker went 1-5 with his first home run of the season and three RBI, while freshman first baseman Austin Maddox (2-5) drove in two runs and senior reliever Jeff Barfield (S2) picked up the save on 3.1 innings of work.

3 » Shut out of the NCAA Tournament after posting a 14-16 record on the season, the Gators women’s basketball team has been invited to compete in the 2010 Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Florida will host first-round action, facing the South Florida Bulls (15-15) on Thursday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Bulls are defending WNIT champions, defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 75-71 in the 2009 event.

4 » Former Ball State Cardinals head volleyball coach Dave Boos has been named assistant coach of Gators volleyball , head coach Mary Wise announced to the press on Monday. “I am very excited to join the Gator volleyball family,” Boos said in a release. “I’ve had the opportunity to coach with and against Coach Wise during my career and have the utmost respect for her and how she has built Florida volleyball. I am looking forward to working with one of the top coaching staffs in the country and assisting in the guidance of a tremendous group of student-athletes.”

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FOUR BITS: Meyer, baseball, softball, lacrosse

1 » Participating in a charity golf tournament over the weekend for former Florida Gators fullback Darryl Perry, head coach Urban Meyer left a strong impression on his colleagues about his health and his thoughts on the future of his former quarterback, Tim Tebow. “I feel good and I’m ready to go,” Meyer told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel about his health. As to Tebow: “I think there’s too much emphasis on [workouts and the combine],” he said. “Think about it: he’s the leading passer in the history of SEC, won 22-straight games and has won two national titles and the Heisman [Trophy], and some people are saying, ‘I wonder if he can play in the pros.’” For what it’s worth, former Gators defensive end Jack Youngblood (a friend of Meyer’s) added his feelings on the coach’s health. “Urban can’t wait to get back out there and coach,” he said.

2 » In the second game of a three-game weekend series. No. 6/7 Florida baseball (11-2) defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 16-10 on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. The Gators powered their way to a six-run sixth inning, which led them to victory. Sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (3-6, two runs) earned a season-high five RBI, freshman designated hitter Austin Maddox was 4-6 with two runs, junior third baseman Bryson Smith (2-4) nabbed two RBI and three runs and freshman catcher Mike Zunino (1-4) drove in a career-high four runs. In relief, sophomore Justin Poovey (1-0) allowed only one run over 2.1 innings for the victory, and senior Jeff Barfield tossed two scoreless innings for the save.

3 » Looking to make an impact in its first Southeastern Conference doubleheader of the season, the No. 4/11 Gators softball team (17-3, 1-1 SEC) split a series with the Ole Miss Rebels (16-9, 3-1 SEC) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. In the first game, Florida earned a 12-2 victory in five innings before falling 6-4 in an eight-inning second game. Junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (4-5) led the team with four RBI, three runs, a home run and two walks in the series. The Gators picked up their first home loss in quite some time (27 straight wins), as junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (13-3) earned a win and a loss in each respective game. She totaled nine strikeouts.

4 » Still looking to gain footing in their inaugural season, Florida lacrosse (3-3, 0-1 ALC) fell to Johns Hopkins (4-3, 1-0 ALC) on the road in their first conference game. Freshman midfielder Kitty Cullen scored three goals in the contest. The Gators return to Gainesville, FL, for a three-game homestand beginning Wednesday against Marist.

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Florida baseball sweeps Illinois State 8-2, 8-0

No. 6/7 Florida Gators baseball (9-2) has completed a two-game sweep of the Illinois State Redbirds (4-7), defeating them 8-2 and 8-0 on Tuesday and Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Read more about Florida baseball’s sweep of Illinois State after the break!

On Tuesday, freshman starter Hudson Randall (2-0) tossed five innings of one-run ball along with five strikeouts as the Gators carried a 8-1 lead into the top of the eighth inning. Freshman first baseman Austin Maddox went 1-4 with a three-run home run in the sixth and two runs, while sophomore outfielder Tyler Thompson supported him with a 2-4 performance with two RBI.

Freshman OF Kamm Washington was 3-4 with an RBI and three stolen bases; Florida totalled a season-high nine swiped bags on the evening.

The Gators continued their domination of the Redbirds Wednesday, with Maddox remaining on his power surge. He drove in a career-high six runs on a 4-5 performance with his first career grand slam in the sixth inning.

Sophomore pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (1-1) registered the win after giving up only one hit in 5.1 innings with a season-high six strikeouts. The game marked Florida’s first shutout since Feb. 24, 2009 against Eastern Michigan (12-0).

The Gators remain home for eight more games and will begin a three-game series with Charleston Southern on Fri., March 12.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

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FOUR BITS: Baseball wins, lacrosse falls to No. 5

Bubble Watch » All four teams riding the 2010 NCAA Tournament bubble \in action Tuesday won their respective contests. South Florida (20-11) took down DePaul 58-49, Rhode Island (22-8) defeated Saint Joseph’s 87-76, Dayton (20-11) lit up George Washington 70-60 and Seton Hall (19-11) was victorious over Providence 109-106.

1 » In the first of what will be a 10-game homestand, No. 6/7 Florida Gators baseball (8-2) took down the Illinois State Redbirds (4-6) 8-2 Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Freshman starter Hudson Randall (2-0) tossed five innings of one-run ball along with five strikeouts as the Gators carried a 8-1 lead into the top of the eighth inning. Freshman first baseman Austin Maddox went 1-4 with a home run in the sixth, three RBI and two runs; sophomore outfielder Tyler Thompson supported him with a 2-4 performance with two RBI; and freshman OF Kamm Washington was 3-4 with an RBI and three stolen bases.

2 » A team filled with mostly freshman, Florida lacrosse has already had a remarkable inaugural season. Looking to put a feather in its cap Tuesday, the Gators (3-2) took the No. 5 Georgetown Hoyas (2-1) to the wire, falling 13-11 in just under two hours. Freshman goalkeeper Cara Carrington (3-2) got the loss as fellow freshman Caroline Chesterman contributed three goals and five shots in 65 minutes of field time. Each team accounted for 33 shots and 11 ground balls, but Georgetown cleared more shots than Florida – 17/17 to 12/16. The Hoyas outscored the Gators 10-5 in the first period, but UF came roaring back with a 6-3 total in the second period.

Two more BITS on awards given to the Florida Gators…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Baseball wins, lacrosse falls to No. 5

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Florida baseball takes weekend series at Miami

Coming off their first loss of the season in the inaugural Florida Four tournament to No. 6/3 Florida State, No. 5/6 Florida Gators baseball (7-2) extracted two wins over a three-game series this weekend against the No. 16/11 Miami Hurricanes (7-3) on the road in Coral Gables, FL, at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Read OGGOA’s full recap of all three Florida-Miami games after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida baseball takes weekend series at Miami

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Toledo, den Dekker lift No. 5/7 Gators over Saints

No. 5/7 Florida Gators baseball (5-0) continues to roll through opponents in 2010, taking down the Siena Saints (1-4) 13-3 Thursday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Tommy Toledo (1-0, 2.16 ERA), more than a year removed from shoulder surgery, tossed a career-high seven strikeouts over five innings while giving up just three hits and two runs in the victory.

Senior outfielder Matt den Dekker (.500) had a career-high four hits in the outing, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Adding to den Dekker’s production were freshman catcher Austin Maddox and sophomore OF Tyler Thompson, who each went 3-3 with two RBI and a run. Sophomore designated hitter Ben McMahan added a 3-5 performance with a home run, two RBI and two runs, while freshman shortstop Nolan Fontana jacked a homer of his own to left field in the fifth inning.

Florida tagged Siena pitcher Robert Tedesco for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings of work; they also dominated replacement Ryan Poplawski with six earned runs in 4.2 innings of relief. The Gators will open up a three-game series against the La Salle Explorers with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. The third game of the series will be played Sunday at noon.

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Baseball completes three-game sweep of USF

Defeating the South Florida Bulls 6-2 Friday night in its 2010 season opener, No. 7/9 Florida Gators baseball had the task of facing them two more times before the weekend was out. Florida (3-0) followed through, taking down USF (0-3) 9-1 on Saturday and coming from three runs down to win 7-6 in extra innings Sunday at McKethan Stadium.

Read all of the details about each game and plenty more after the break!
Continue Reading » Baseball completes three-game sweep of USF

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Florida baseball takes down USF in season opener

Home runs rocketed out of McKethan Stadium Friday night as No. 7/9 Florida Gators baseball (1-0) opened its 2010 season with a 6-2 win against the South Florida Bulls (0-1). Junior second baseman Josh Adams went 3-3 and powered the Gators with two homers and four RBI, while redshirt sophomore pitcher Tommy Toledo started for 3.1 innings after sitting out the entire 2009 campaign with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Read the rest of Friday night’s baseball game story after the jump!
Continue Reading » Florida baseball takes down USF in season opener

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