FOUR BITS: Baseball, tennis win; golf leads; track

1 » No. 6/7 Florida Gators baseball (10-2) began its series against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (5-9) with a 6-0 win Friday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Sophomore starter Alex Panteliodis (4-0) tossed a career-high seven innings, striking out five in the outing. Florida notched consecutive shutout victories for the first time since 1995. A five-run second inning was highlighted by back-to-back two-out home runs by freshman catcher Mike Zunino (3-3, two RBI) and senior outfielder Matt den Dekker. Florida has decided to add a game against Army to its schedule on Monday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m.

2 » No. 3 women’s and No. 4 men’s track and field combined for five All-America honors on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday. The men are in second-place (four points off the lead), while the women are in 14th. Four qualifying marks/times were achieved by the men, including freshman sprinter and sophomore running back Jeff Demps, who achieved a school-record time of 6.56 seconds in the 60-meter dash.

Two more BITS on tennis’ two wins and men’s golf’s lead…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Baseball, tennis win; golf leads; track

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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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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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Florida baseball holds on to defeat UCF 7-6

Off to a strong start in 2010, No. 5/7 Florida Gators baseball (4-0) held on for a 7-6 win over the Central Florida Knights (3-1) Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium. Up 7-0 at the end of the sixth inning, Florida relievers allowed UCF consecutive three-run innings in the seventh and eighth before closing it out in the top of the ninth.

Read the rest along with women’s basketball and men’s tennis news…
Continue Reading » Florida baseball holds on to defeat UCF 7-6

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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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FOUR BITS: More Tebow, Tucker, tennis honors

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been lining up speaking engagements left and right since graduation, and he has recently agreed to be the keynote speaker for Union University’s second annual Roy L. White Legacy Golf and Gala on April 19. Tickets to the event, which will be held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, are at least $50 per seat. More information can be found here.

2 » Gators sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker has been named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award, which honors the best college baseball player each year, is sponsored by Major League Baseball. Tucker was the 2009 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and earned a triple crown for Florida by leading the team in batting average (.364), runs batted in (85) and home runs (15). His RBI mark set a University of Florida single-season record.

3 » Speaking of Florida baseball, the preseason No. 7-ranked team will open its 2010 season against the South Florida Bulls on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium in the first of a three-game series. The second and third games will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday, respectively. The Gators have also earned preseason rankings of No. 9 by two services and No. 10 by another. Baseball finished 42-22 in 2009 and won the SEC East Division title for the first time since 2005.

4 » Sophomore Nassim Slilam and freshman Allie Will were named to the 2010 ITA All-Tournament Team for their performances at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week. Slilam and Will each went 3-0 in their respective performances, and Will improved her singles record to a team best 27-3 this season.

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