Lumber Yard

The Gators pound 13 hits as they even the key three-game SEC series.

Published: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 5:20 a.m.
Florida has won games in a variety of ways this season. But with visiting Tennessee in town for a weekend series, the Gators know there is only one sure way to beat the Vols.
Outslug them.
So the SEC-leading Gators showed they can win that way, too. Fourth-ranked Florida took advantage of 14 walks and a career day from second baseman Adam Davis to pound the Vols 18-9 in front of a Saturday afternoon crowd of 2,538 at McKethan Stadium.
Davis, a sophomore, went 4-for-6 with two home runs and a school record 10 RBIs. First baseman Matt LaPorta added his 17th home run of the season while left fielder Gavin Dickey had three hits and scored four runs.
Florida improved to 31-11 and 14-6 in the SEC and moved two games ahead of Alabama for the overall conference lead. The Gators also moved 2 games ahead of the Vols (31-14, 11-8) for the top spot in the Eastern Division.
The win allowed the Gators to erase the sting of Friday night's series-opening, 11-5, loss to the Vols in which the SEC's top hitting team pounded out 18 hits.
"We were ticked off about that," LaPorta said. "This was just the result of a lot of hard work knowing we had to come back out today and win."
The loss was the Vols' worst of the season.
"If you play the game long enough you're going to be on both ends of it," Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico said. "This is the first time we really haven't been in a game all year."
Gators junior right-hander Alan Horne (5-2) enjoyed the run support. Despite some late trouble Horne was impressive in winning his fourth straight start.
"It was great to get that much support," said Horne, who gave up five runs on seven hits over 6 innings. "When you're sitting on the bench for that long, it's not the easiest game to pitch. But I was fortunate to put some zeroes up early."
Horne gave up only one run through five innings while Florida's offense scored 14 runs in that time. The Gators scored four in the third, three in the fourth and plated seven in the fifth.
Davis was involved in each inning, hitting a run-scoring single in the third, a three-run home run in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth. Davis followed that with his third grand slam of the season in the eighth. It was Davis' third grand slam of the season and eighth home run. Additionally, the switch-hitting Davis homered from both sides of the plate.
"I never thought I'd do that," Davis said of his 10-RBI day. "I didn't even realize the last one was a grand slam. I thought there were runners on second and third."
Florida scored off five different Tennessee pitchers. Vols starter James Adkins, who had been solid all year for Tennessee, gave up seven runs (six earned) in four innings. Adkins, a freshman, entered the game with a 6-1 record and a 2.00 ERA.
"That's his first bad start all year," Delmonico said. "The law of averages says that's going to happen. I guess it's good to get it out of his system."
Tennessee will throw right-hander Craig Cobb (4-2, 4.35) against Gators right-hander Bryan Ball (5-1, 2.67) today in the series finale at noon in a game televised live by Sun Sports.
Even with Florida's dominating performance Saturday, coach Pat McMahon is hoping for more today.
"There's still areas we need to improve in," McMahon said. "We're not hitting on all cylinders but we're battling."
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at

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