Baseball drops final home series to Auburn

Auburn junior Damek Tomscha broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a solo shot and junior Ryan Tella connected on a three-run dinger in the sixth to lead the Tigers (31-20/11-16 SEC) to a 4-1, series-clinching win over Florida (28-25/13-14 SEC) on Mother’s Day at McKethan Stadium. The Tigers ended a four-series losing streak to the Gators dating back to a 2-1 triumph during the 2006 season in Gainesville.

After redshirt freshman right-hander Justin Camp threw 4.1 shutout innings in his starting debut, sophomore Chase Williamson (3-0) gave up one run over 2.2 innings to pick up the win and junior Terrance Dedrick registered the final six outs to collect his eighth save of the season and second of the series. Freshman Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0-3) surrendered just one run and four hits over a career-high five innings for Florida.

“I thought Eric (Hanhold) did a nice job,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought he threw the ball well, we just didn’t get the bats going today for whatever reason. Auburn’s pitcher (Justin Camp) was in his first career start, he mixed his pitches and threw his breaking ball for strikes early in the count. We weren’t able to put some good swings on them. It was a 1-0 game for awhile there, but, obviously, the sixth inning hurt us, pitching-wise.”

“Eric’s throwing the ball downhill and he’s got three pitches that he throws for strikes. He’s got a really good arm, but this is the first time that he’s been really extended to a little above 70 pitches. To be honest, with one run over five innings, he did his job, we just need to get some of those other guys out there.”

Sophomores Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) had consecutive singles with two down in the first inning against Camp before the right-hander had redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) ground out.

Making his first start since March 24 at Vanderbilt, Hanhold retired the first eight batters of the contest before yielding a two-out single through the left side by junior Blake Austin (3-for-4) in the third inning.

Florida put its first two runners aboard in the bottom of the frame, as senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk and freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (3-for-5) raised his hitting streak to six games with a single into left field. Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) sacrificed his teammates into scoring position with a bunt but Camp responded by setting down Gushue and Shafer on pop-ups.

Senior Cullen Wacker (2-for-4) and senior Garrett Cooper (2-for-4) started the fourth with back-to-back base-hits into left field. Although Hanhold struck out junior Patrick Savage, a wild pitch enabled Wacker and Cooper to advance. A walk to junior Dan Glevenyak loaded the bases with one down and Hanhold had freshman Jordan Ebert pop up to Turgeon at second base before fanning Tella after a 12-pitch at bat.

Tomscha gave Auburn a 1-0 advantage by beginning the fifth inning with a homer into the left-field bleachers. It was his seventh big fly of the year to tie for the team lead.

Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) led off the home part of the stanza with a single into right center field and Martin collected his second hit of the afternoon with a single into right center field with one down. Williamson took over for Camp (4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 1 BB) and had Turgeon ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Hanhold worked a career-high five innings in which he permitted four hits and one runs and freshman Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) came to the mound to start the sixth. The righty plunked Savage with one down and a two-out infield single by Ebert brought freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) out of the bullpen for Carmichael (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R). Tella greeted the reliever with a three-run homer to right field to expand the Tigers’ margin to 4-0.

Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) came in for Young (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) prior to the seventh and worked the final three innings with four strikeouts and zero runs allowed.

Florida narrowed the gap to 4-1 in the eighth and had the bases full with one out but could not move any closer. Martin legged out a bunt single and Turgeon followed with his fifth double of the campaign into the gap in right center to put the Gators on the board. Dedrick replaced Williamson (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and issued a walk to Gushue before having Shafer fly out to left field. Powers worked a walk to fill the bags with one down and Dedrick countered with a strikeout of senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) and had a grounder by sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) force Powers at second base to preserve the Tigers’ three-run lead.

The Gators will wrap up their regular season at Georgia (18-31/5-19 SEC) with a three-game series beginning on Thursday at 7 p.m. The games can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.

Courtesy of UF Communications.