June 6, 2010

*Courtesy of the University of Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Top-seeded Florida (44-15) used a seven-run third inning to post a 10-2 win over third-seeded Oregon State (32-23) in a winner's bracket game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional on Saturday night at McKethan Stadium. Sophomore left-hander Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (10-2) matched his career high with eight strikeouts over five innings and earned the win to become the first Gator pitcher with 10 victories since Alan Horne went 10-2 in 2005. Seven of Florida's 14 hits went for extra bases, with three homers, two triples and a couple of doubles.

The Beavers will meet second-seeded Florida Atlantic (36-23) in an elimination game tomorrow at 1 p.m., with the survivor needing to defeat the Gators twice to advance to next weekend's NCAA Super Regional. Florida will face tomorrow afternoon's winner at 7 p.m., live on Sun Sports.

"Once again, we had an awesome start on the mound for us," head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "A.P. (Alex Panteliodis) was solid and the offense did a heck of a job in the third inning with seven two-out runs. Our pitching was good and we only walked two batters tonight. I'm awfully proud of our guys."

Freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (1-for-3, two runs) opened the game by belting his third home run over the right-field fence to give Florida a quick lead. The rookie battled back from a 0-2 count to sophomore righty Sam Gaviglio (3-4) and became the first Gator to start a contest with a round-tripper since Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) accomplished the feat against Army on March 15. It was Fontana's first dinger since May 12 versus Florida Atlantic. Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (3-for-5) delivered a two-out single and went to third on a sharp single by den Dekker. The Beavers worked out of trouble by catching den Dekker in a run-down to end the inning.

Oregon State mounted a two-out threat in the second, as senior Rob Folsom and sophomore Carter Bell had consecutive singles off Panteliodis. The southpaw responded by catching junior Keith Jennette looking on strikes to strand the runners.

The Gators sent 11 batters to the plate and exploded for seven runs with two down in the third to build an 8-0 lead. The seven runs in the inning matched a season high by the squad for the fourth time. Sophomore Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) (2-for-4) started things off with a single through the left side and Fontana walked on four pitches before junior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) earned a free pass to fill the bags with none out. Gaviglio had sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) line into a double play but then Maddox stroked a single into right field that brought home Thompson and Smith. A throwing error on the play by junior first baseman Parker Berberet enabled Maddox to take second and den Dekker was walked intentionally. The move backfired when freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (1-for-4) bashed a two-run double into left center. Freshman Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) (2-for-3) followed with his first career triple to score Zunino and junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-5) launched a two-run homer to right center field for his eighth big fly of the campaign to put UF ahead by eight runs. Thompson legged out his third triple to chase Gaviglio, who yielded nine hits and eight runs over 2.2 innings before sophomore Dylan Jones took over.

Freshman Andrew Susac put Oregon State on the board with a sacrifice fly in the fourth that scored junior Travis Anderson, who had doubled and gone to third on a wild pitch.

The Gators answered the run in the top of the fifth on a towering homer by den Dekker that cleared the scoreboard overlooking right field for a 9-1 margin. It was his 13th homer, seven of which have been solo. After Johnson was plunked with one down, Adams rifled his 12th two-bagger into left center for a pair of runners in scoring position. Fontana drew a two-out walk to load the bases but Jones had Smith fly out.

Junior Andy Quiring connected on his second homer with one down in the home part of the inning for a 9-2 score. Panteliodis finished the inning with his eighth strikeout, matching a career high set twice previously. The lefty permitted five hits and two runs in five innings of work and was replaced by sophomore Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.), who retired all six batters he faced and registered three strikeouts.

Freshman Tyler Smith and senior Adalberto Santos greeted junior reliever Matt Campbell (Tampa, Fla.) with back-to-back singles in the eighth. The right-hander kept the Beavers at bay by putting down the next three batters, punctuated by an inning-ending strikeout of Berberet.

Maddox opened the ninth with his third hit of the game and was replaced at first base by freshman pinch runner Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Sophomore Ben McMahan (Windermere, Fla.) drew a one-out pinch-hit walk, prompting a pitching change. Junior James Nygren came in from the bullpen for Jones (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 K) and surrendered an RBI single to sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) that finalized the scoring at 10-2. Senior Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) set down OSU in order to end the game.