I cannot tell a lie- George Washington University baseball is bad. If nothing else the weekend series against the Colonels served as a workshop on how to take a pitch mixed with some glorified BP. Florida absolutely pounded GWU 20-3.
The Gators scored 51 runs and pounded out 48 hits against a horrible George Washington pitching staff that seemingly surrendered as if they had to cross Lake Alice. When they weren’t putting the bat to the ball, they paid the price. Florida batters were hit 11 times in the series.
A Florida squad that had already scored 31 runs in their prior two meetings wasted little time jumping on the Colonels today.
Leadoff hitter Jon Townsend singled to right field and moved to second on a passed ball. Second baseman Cole Figueroa walked after working Colonels starter Bobby Lucas to a full count. First baseman Matt LaPorta was promptly plunked by the first pitch, marking the third time in the last five at bats that the slugger was hit by a GWU mound hound. Clean-up hitter Austin Pride singled home Townsend for the Gators first run.
Bryson Barber was then walked on four consecutive pitches, which brought Figueroa home. Catcher Cody Neer grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, which scored LaPorta. However, Neer rolled his ankle as he stepped on the bag He was helped off the field and replaced in the lineup with Hampton Tignor.
Lucas walked three of the five Florida batters he faced in the bottom of the second. After intentionally walking LaPorta with two on and two out, Lucas was lifted for Ryan LaPointe. Despite not securing a hit, the Gators scored two in the inning to pull out to a 5-0 lead.
Right fielder Brian Leclerc hit a fly ball that GWU center fielder Matt Boyd failed to track down and advanced all the way to third base to start the third inning. Left fielder Jonathan Pigott then singled to center driving home Leclerc. Pigott moved up on a wild pitch thrown by LaPointe. Avery Barnes then laced a single to center scoring Pigott. Townsend ripped a 2-2 offering to left, scoring Barnes. He scored two batters later on LaPorta’s ground ball to short giving the Gators a 9-0 advantage.
Meanwhile, freshman right hander Billy Bullock was in the midst of tossing five scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. Bullock (2-2) struck out four, while walking only one along the way.
He was relieved by left hander David Hurst, who gave up a home run to GWU left fielder Charlie Kruer that got into the winds and carried out of McKethan Stadium.
The Gators added injury to insult in the sixth. Yes, injury to insult. Matt den Dekker led off the inning with a long home run over the right field wall. Two batters later, Barnes tripled to left-center. He scored on Townsend’s ground ball to short. Figueroa was hit on a 1-2 pitch. George Washington reliever Pat Lehman delivered his next pitch into LaPorta’s back. LaPorta is now one shy of the Florida record currently held by St. Louis Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein. As a team, the Gators were hit 11 times by GWU pitchers.
Pride then stepped up and cleared the bases with a ball that carried just over the left field fence giving Florida a 16-1 lead.
Florida added four more runs as head coach Pat McMahon emptied the benches.
Austin Pride was 3 for 4 today, Avery Barnes went 3 for 5, and Jon Townsend added a 2-4 performance for the Gators. Florida will play Jacksonville University on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.