ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Kentucky Holds On To Beat Florida Baseball 7-

By on April 26th, 2015

The Florida baseball team fell to 32 -12 and 12-8 in SEC play after losing a hard fought 7-6 game to Kentucky Saturday night. Kentucky will take a 2-0 series lead into Sunday’s Game 3 at 12:30 pm.

The Orange and Blue had to claw their way back in this game after trailing 4-0 after the second inning.  Starter Dane Dunning allowed the four runs after hitting three batters in the frame. Dunning only lasted 1.1 innings on the hill.

Offensively Florida struggled against UK starter Dustin Beggs who threw 122 pitches against 32 UF batters. Florida’s JJ Schwarz and Mike Rivera brought a couple runs home on sacrifice flies in the second inning to cut the lead to 4-2.

UF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was impressed with the Kentucky pitcher.

“I thought after the second inning we were going to get to him but he just got better as the game went on; his breaking ball got better and he got stronger as the game went on. Credit him because he stayed out there for more than 120 pitches, battled and did a good job.”

It was a quiet few innings before Kentucky broke the silence in the sixth inning with two home runs in two pitches from UF’s Aaron Rhodes.

Heading into the ninth inning Florida trailed by five runs but rallied to almost win the game.

After a leadoff hit from hit from Josh Tobias, Pete Alonso doubled him home.  A walk and a single loaded the bases .   Pinch hitter Jeremy Vasquez hit a two run single and a run scoring hit from Buddy Reed and a throwing error put runners on second and third with two outs.  Florida’s Richie Martin stepped in with two outs and a squeeze play was called but it was not executed and Kentucky got the final out of the game when pinch runner Taylor Lane was thrown out at the plate.

Florida third baseman Josh Tobias said the rally was good for team’s confidence.

“We just have to take what we did positively into tomorrow’s game. We battled back and never gave up. We put some good swings on the ball late in some pressure situations. We need to carry that into tomorrow and use it as motivation.”

UF will look to take Game Three where it has Alex Faedo on the hill.

Sound from the game

Kevin O’Sullivan 1

Kevin O’Sullivan 2

Kevin O’Sullivan 3

Josh Tobias 1

Josh Tobias 2

 

Harrison Bader 1

Harrison Bader 2

 

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Gator Softball Wins Big on Senior Day

By on April 25th, 2015

The Florida Gator softball team took Game Two of a weekend series against the Texas A&M Aggies this afternoon by a final score of 9 to 5.

Prior to the first pitch, Katie Seashole Pressley Stadium hosted a beautiful ceremony for the seven seniors graduating for Florida. The Gators welcomed the seniors and their families to the field and presented a video of their ground-breaking highlights throughout their college careers. Graduating seniors Lauren Haeger, Bailey Castro, Briana Little, Kathlyn Medina, Jessica Damico and Francesca Martinez were honored.

When the game started, the offensive talents started early for the Aggies when Gator starting pitcher Aleshia Ocasio gave up a home run in the top of the second inning by Celena Massey. The Aggies scored a run in the third inning on two Gator errors and an RBI hit by Cali Lanphear.

Following those two errors, a fly ball was sent Bailey Castro’s way in right field and the ball tipped off the top of her glove to give the Aggies a home run and bring the score to 4-0.

In the top of the fourth, Ashley Walters hit only her second homer of the season against new Gator pitcher Delanie Gourley to bring the score to 5-0.

The Gators bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth when lead off hitter Kirsti Merritt doubled to right field to start the momentum and Lauren Haeger followed with a two run homer to make the score 5-2.  After Florida loaded the bases, Taylore Fuller came up with no one out and hit a grand slam home run into left field to give the Gators the upper hand, 6-5.

The momentum did not stop there. Kelsey Stewart singled to center and Nicole DeWitt doubled to left to continue the inning for the Gators, Kirsti Merritt followed with a double to bring home Stewart and make the score 7-5.

Florida shut down the Aggies the rest of the way and added some insurance runs on a Bailey Castro homer in the fifth and a Haeger RBI double to create the final score of 9-5.

Despite the slow offensive start for the Gators, they pulled off an amazing win in front of a great crowd in honor of the seven graduating seniors. Final game of the series against the Aggies is set for one o’clock tomorrow.

Haeger said the pregame ceremony was something she will remember always.

“It is obviously bittersweet. I can speak for all the seniors. We have had a great four years together and I love every single one of them. They honestly are your best friends for life.”

Gator coach Tim Walton managed to get all of his seniors in the game.

“I got a chance to get all the seniors in, which is very important. To see Lauren get a nice clutch home run and Bailey get a bomb it was good. It was not the way you wanted Senior Day to start, but it ended the way we wanted, that’s for sure.”

To hear more from the Gators, click on the links below:

Haeger 1

Walton 1

 

 

 

 

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Gator Softball Opens Final Regular Season Home Series With Win

By on April 25th, 2015

Senior Bailey Castro celebrating her solo home run with teammates

Florida Softball Postgame Recap

The top ranked Florida Gator softball team entered this weekend with a 12-game win streak, eight consecutive in the SEC. They would extend both of those streaks with a Game 1 victory against the 25th ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 7-3.  Junior second baseman Kelsey Stewart wants to focus on the little battles as the regular season comes to a close.

“I don’t really think we see it as a streak. I think it’s one game at a time and really just working through our at-bats, winning every at-bat, winning every pitch and just doing the little things for postseason.”

Stewart paved the way for the Gators offensively. She went 4 for 4, scoring two runs and adding an RBI of her own. She would improve her batting average to a whopping .449 with an on-base percentage of .503. After the game, she discussed the adjustments she made in practice.

“I did some drills. Coach worked on slowing my feet down and focusing on the little things. I wasn’t trying to do too much and I was trying to make sure my hands were loaded and just trying to simplify my swing.”

Bailey Castro would add an insurance run with a home run in the fifth inning.

In the circle, pitcher Lauren Haeger did not have her best game. The senior allowed three earned runs off six hits, including a two-run homer from A&M’s Tori Vidales. She would complete the game for her 22nd win on the season without a loss, tying Stephanie Brombacher for the Gator record for the best start of the season for a pitcher. Haeger is relieved all her hard work entering the season is paying off.

“It’s always awesome when you put in so much work and then it pays off on the field. That’s just how we are here. We work hard. Everyone can say that, but I feel like we work hard.”

First pitch of Game 2 will be Saturday at 1 p.m. A pregame ceremony will commemorate the six seniors on roster; Bailey Castro, Jessica Damico, Lauren Haeger, Briana Little, Francesca Martinez, and Kathlyn Medina.

Lauren Haeger shared what she wants to take away from this weekend.

“Just to look back on the all the memories that I have had…It’s been a great time. I don’t get as mad as I used to when I get out just because I’m trying to take it all in, not waste the moments with my best friends. That’s really emotional, but it’s been the best four years of my life.”

For full audio clips of quotes above and more, click below:

Haeger glad to see her hard work pay off

Haeger on what she wants to take away from senior weekend

Stewart made improvements to her plate approach

Stewart wanting the team to win the everyday battles

Walton didn’t think Lauren Haeger was sharp

Walton always impressed when Kelsey Stewart is playing

Walton’s take on Rhonda Faehn’s departure

 

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Video Recap: UF Baseball vs Kentucky Game One

By on April 25th, 2015

Florida Baseball Postgame Video vs Kentucky April 25, 2015

 

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Florida Baseball Drops First Game of Series Against Kentucky

By on April 25th, 2015
Logan Shore Pitching

Joseph Kimber / ESPN 850 WRUF

Florida starter Logan Shore delivers a pitch in the first inning of Friday’s game vs. Kentucky. The Gators fell to the Wildcats 3-0 in the series opener.

The #6 Florida Gator baseball team (32-11, 12-7 SEC) fell to the Kentucky Wildcats (24-16, 9-9 SEC) 3-0 on Friday night to drop the first game of the series.

Regular Friday starter sophomore right-hander Logan Shore took the mound for the Gators and had a strong outing, throwing 93 pitches over 7 1/3 innings while recording seven strikeouts, nine hits and three earned runs.

After giving up one run in both the second and third innings, Shore shut the door until the eighth inning. Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked about his ace’s performance.

“I thought he pitched well enough to win,” O’Sullivan said. “I thought he pitched great. He located. He didn’t miss much, and Kentucky did a good job with two outs. Simple as that.”

Despite the strong start from Shore, Kentucky’s sophomore starter, right-hander Zach Brown was not to be outdone.

Brown dominated, going seven innings while allowing five hits and no runs, pushing his scoreless streak to 14 1/3 innings. O’Sullivan talked about Brown’s stout performance.

“Credit their starter. He did a really good job. He was pretty good tonight. He threw the breaking ball for strikes. He threw a bunch of breaking balls for strikes when he was behind in the count, and he was firm. It was a firm fastball. So he deserves a lot of credit, and he pitched well enough to beat us. I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do, to shut us out at home, and he just pitched really good tonight.”

Two bright spots for the Gator offense were shortstop Richie Martin, who pushed his hitting streak to 12 games with a double in the first inning. Ryan Larson was the only Gator batter to record two hits, and he talked about the struggles for the Florida offense at the plate.

“We were trying to (make adjustments),” Larson said. “He did a good job keeping our hitters off balance.”

The Gators will look to regain the offensive firepower they’ve had over the past few weeks and bounce back from being shut out for the first time all season today when they take on the Wildcats in the second game of the three game set.

Junior right-hander Dustin Beggs will take the mound for Kentucky against sophomore right-hander Dane Dunning for the Gators. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

For sound from the game, click below.

Kevin O’Sullivan on the team’s performance

Kevin O’Sullivan on Kentucky starter Zach Brown’s performance

Kevin O’Sullivan on starter Logan Shore

Logan Shore talks about his performance

Logan Shore on Kentucky

Logan Shore talks about his pitching adjustments throughout the game

Ryan Larson on Zack Brown’s performance

Ryan Larson on the team trying to make offensive adjustments

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Rhonda Faehn Steps Down

By on April 25th, 2015

Rhonda Faehn is stepping down as Florida’s gymnastics coach after 13 seasons and back to back to back national titles.  She will assume the role of Senior Vice President of Women’s Programs for USA Gymnastics.

“I will be responsible for overseeing and managing the entire women’s program.” Faehn said. “[I'll be] working alongside Marta Karolyi  with the National Team staff.”

Faehn revealed she’ll be overseeing and managing USA gymnastics from the “…grassroots of gymnastics, so club level and to the national team.”

Just last week the Gators edged Utah to capture Florida’s third consecutive title under Faehn’s tutelage. In her 13 year tenure at Florida Faehn led the Gators to six SEC championships (2007, 2010, 2012, 2013) and 10 Super Six NCAA Finals appearances (2004, 2006-10, 2012-15).

Faehn is happy to return to elite level competition, where she herself won national titles in the vault in 1987 and 1988. She’s grateful for the opportunity to coach the Gators that UIF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley extended to her in 2003.


“Jeremy Foley had tremendous faith in me; he gave me a chance as an assistant coach from Nebraska to come to Florida.” Faehn said. “And my time here has been a dream come true.”

Foley experienced a range of emotions upon hearing the news.

“Obviously some sadness… and it’s not so much about losing a national championship coach.” Foley said. “It’s about losing a person that we all love, we all admire, and have enjoyed working with for 13 years.”

According to Foley, Florida’s next head coach will inherit a program which is built to win.

“We will collectively get together on Monday.” Foley said. “We’ll go to work, find someone to fill some really big shoes. We’ll also find someone to come in and inherit a program, again, to say a solid foundation would be an understatement,” Foley said.

To hear audio for the story, click below.

Faehn 1
Faehn 5Foley 2
Foley 4

 

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MLB Recap

By on April 25th, 2015

The Miami Marlins head back home after a 4-6 road trip in Atlanta, New York, and Philadelphia.

The Marlins were able to turn their road trip around after dropping four games to the Mets as they took two games against the Philadelphia Phillies. They beat the Phillies 6-1 Wednesday night and 9-1 Thursday afternoon. Marlins manager Redmond said the hitting has to come around.

“We need big at-bats. We need big hits in big situations and with guys in scoring position. We knew they were going to come, it was just a matter of when.”

The offense seemed to click and so did the pitching. Jarred Cosart threw six innings and only gave up one run Wednesday; David Phelps threw seven shutout innings on Thursday.

“When we’re able to get deeper into games it takes pressure off of everybody,” Redmond said.

The Marlins will now open a series against the Washington Nationals in Marlins Park. Mat Latos (0-3. 10.24 ERA) will be on the mound for the Marlins and the Nationals will counter with Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 6.14 ERA).

The Tampa Bay Rays stay at home to welcome the Toronto Blue Jays into Tropicana Field. The Rays took two of the three games against the Boston Red Sox, winning the rubber match with a walk-off hit. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said it was a nice win and especially nice for Rene Rivera who got the game winning hit.

“Big night for Rene (Rivera). He needed that, we needed that.”

Lefty starter Drew Smyly will make his debut for the Rays after starting the season on the disabled list. The Blue Jays will send R.A. Dickey (0-1, 3.26 ERA) on the mound; his previous outing marked the only time this season a Blue Jays starter has completed at least seven innings.

For full audio clips of quotes, click on links below:

Marlins Manager Mike Redmond on starters getting deeper into ballgames

Marlins Manager Mike Redmond on getting big hits in big moments

Tampa Bay Rays Kevin Cash on the walk-off win against Red Sox

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Chris Walker Declares For NBA Draft

By on April 24th, 2015

University of Florida men’s basketball player Chris Walker is leaving school early to declare for the NBA Draft.

“I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, and everyone at Florida for my experiences here,” Walker said in a statement.  “I’m excited to continue pursuing my dream of playing professionally.”

Walker joins Michael Frazier II as Gator players who left early for the NBA Draft this season.

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UF Gymnastics Coach Rhonda Faehn Resigns

By on April 24th, 2015

University of Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn has resigned to take a position with USA Gymnastics.

According to a news release, Faehn, who has led Florida to three straight national championships, told her team of the decision today.   The 43 year old Faehn will become Senior Vice President of USA Gymnastics.

In her new position, Faehn will work with elite gymnasts, and says she is looking forward to impacting their lives to help them represent the United States in the sport of gymnastics.

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Gator Baseball Host Kentucky For SEC Series

By on April 24th, 2015

The sixth ranked Florida Gator baseball team welcomes the Kentucky Wildcats to McKethan Stadium for a three game series this weekend. The Gators are tied for first in the SEC East with Vandy and Missouri, while the Wildcats sit at fourth.

Both teams are riding four game winning streaks; the Gators swept Mississippi State last weekend and squeaked by Bethune-Cookman Tuesday night 2-1. Kentucky took all three games at home against Tennessee last weekend and defeated Xavier Tuesday night. During the Wildcat four game winning streak their pitchers have been dominant, posting a 1.00 ERA while holding opponents to a .202 average.

Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson says the pitching has carried the team lately.

“Well we’ve pitched pretty well over the last five games. We had a little hiccup like a lot of teams do in the middle of the SEC season, but it has been a lot better the last 10 days and hopefully we can continue to pitch well.”

The Gators have got it done in all aspects of the game this season. They have a team batting average of .304, a team ERA of 3.26, and lead the nation with a fielding percentage of .985. Florida has played error free baseball in 22 of their 42 games this season.

Henderson says the Gators don’t have a weak aspect to their game.

“Well they’re really balanced and talented. They’ve been good at the front of the game and they’ve got a lot of depth in the pen. They can divide the game up on you and match you up a little with the bullpen. Not a lot different than a lot of the Gator clubs you see; a really talented group.”

For Game One of the series the Gators send sophomore ace Logan Shore to the mound (6-2, 2.29) to oppose Wildcat starter Zack Brown (3-4, 3.13). Sophomore Dane Dunning (4-1, 3.02) gets the start for the Orange and Blue in Game Two and he will go up against junior right-hander Dustin Beggs (5-2. 2.78). Neither team has announced a starter for the final game of the series.

The last time these two clubs met was in Lexington last season where the Wildcats took the series two games to one. First pitch in game one of this series is Friday night at 7pm but tune into ESPN 850 WRUF at 6:55 to catch the call with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.

Sound from Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson below:

Henderson 1

Henderson 2

Henderson 3

Henderson 4

Henderson 5

Henderson 6

Henderson 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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