Hoosiers snap Gators' win streak in series opener

Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 9:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 9:49 p.m.
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Florida junior pitcher Jonathon Crawford tossed 6 1/3 innings Friday against Indiana and struck out a season-high six batters.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer


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Who: Florida Gators (7-8) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (7-2)
When: 4 p.m.
Where: McKethan Stadium, Gainesville, Fla.
Gainesville-area radio: AM-850

A 13-hit Indiana attack and a solid effort from Hoosiers' starter Joey DeNato was too much too overcome for Florida as the Gators had their season-high four-game winning streak halted by Indiana, 4-1, Friday night at McKethan Stadium. UF fell to 7-8 on the season with the loss while the Hoosiers, winners of five straight, improved to 7-2. “He (DeNato) made some big pitches,” UF head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “He did a really nice job.” Indiana broke on top in its first at-bat, stringing together three consecutive singles with one out off UF starter Jonathon Crawford, with the last one by clean-up batter Scott Donley bringing home the game's first run. The Gators answered in the bottom of the second on Vickash Ramjit's lead-off home run, his second homer of the season, that made it 1-1, but missed a great chance to take the lead in the third. Cody Dent and Casey Turgeon led off with back-to-back singles, and one out later, clean-up batter Justin Shafer worked DeNato, who struck out the side in the first, for a walk with a 12-pitch at-bat to load the bases. But Ramjit went down swinging and Taylor Gushue's deep fly ball to right was caught on the warning track by the Hoosiers' Will Nolden to end the threat.

“We had the bases loaded with one out, and at the time it was a 1-1 ball game,” O'Sullivan said. “We struck out and we needed to put the ball in play. It's been kind of a theme that's been hurting us all year long. We've got to do a better job with that.” Crawford settled down after allowing the three first-inning singles to retire 11 of the next 13 batters he faced, allowing just two infield hits and no runs, but the Hoosiers got to him for a pair of runs on four hits in the fifth to go up 3-1 with Kyle Schwarber, who went 4-for-4 and walked in his fifth plate appearance, and Sam Travis, who was 3-for-5, accounting for the RBIs. Schwarber and Travis, Indiana's No. 2 and No. 3 hitters in the lineup, came into the game hitting .378 and .448, respectively, and between them had more than half (seven) of the hits for the Hoosiers, who were the preseason Big Ten favorite. “We knew going into it that Indiana had a really good team,” O'Sullivan said. “We knew their two- and three-hole hitters were very good, and obviously tonight you saw that. “They (Indiana) earned it tonight. They played really good.” Crawford, a junior and preseason All-American, went 6 1/3 innings and posted six strikeouts, both season-high marks, before giving way to reliever Corey Stump with one on and one out in the seventh. Schwarber greeted Stump by lining his first pitch into right field, getting him a quick hook and bringing in another right-hander in Aaron Rhodes. Travis singled to right to load the bases, and Donley followed with his second RBI of the game to make it 4-1. UF was able to get out of the inning thanks to a double-play started by Dent, but the Gators simply could not solve DeNato (2-1), a lefty who scattered eight hits over 7 1/3 innings to earn the win, while Crawford (0-2), who gave up four runs, all earned, on nine hits, took the loss. Indiana's Scott Effross retired all five Gator batters he faced to earn the save, his first of the season. Rhodes threw 2 2/3 innings of three-hit, scoreless relief for UF, with lefty Danny Young recording the final out in the top of the ninth. The two teams will meet again today at 4 p.m. “We need to come out with clear head and put some swings on some balls,” said Turgeon, who along with Ramjit had two hits to lead UF.

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