GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Junior Brad Zapenas tied the game with a two-run triple in the seventh inning but No. 1 Florida responded with six more runs to beat the Boston College baseball team, 9-3, Friday night at McKethan Stadium.
Down 3-1 entering the top of the seventh, sophomore Matt McGovern led off and bunted for a single and then senior Garret Smith singled as well to put runners on first and second. The Gators retired the next two batters and the runners hadn't moved, but Zapenas drove the first pitch of his at-bat to the wall in left-center for a two-run triple to tie the game.
Florida came right back with three runs in the bottom half of the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. The first four batters drew walks to give the edge back to Florida, 4-3, then Austin Maddox and Brian Johnson both singled in runs to make it a three-run advantage.
The Gators then added three more runs in the eighth to pull away.
Zapenas went 2-for-4 with that two-run triple. Senior Mike Sudol also went 2-for-4 with a double while junior Andrew Lawrence doubled and scored a run. Smith singled and drove in the first BC run.
Freshman Eric Stevens made his first career start and threw well. He allowed two runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings of work.
Preston Tucker got the scoring going in the bottom of the third when he went with a 1-1 pitch the other way for a solo home run.
The Gators tacked on another run in the fourth. Johnson led off with a single and was sacrificed into scoring position. With two outs in the inning, Ben McMahon singled past the diving Anthony Melchionda at third for the run.
BC (2-3) got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit in half. Lawrence led off and doubled over the center fielder's head and moved over 90 feet on a groundout to the right side. Smith drove him in with a grounder to second.
Florida got the run back in the bottom of the sixth. Tucker led off with a single and reached second on a balk with one out. He got to third on a wild pitch and then Daniel Pigott hit a grounder in the hole at short with two outs. Zapenas ranged, got to the ball and made an off balance throw across the field. The umpire called Pigott safe at first on a bang-bang play and Tucker scored to make it 3-1.
Tucker went 3-for-4 for the Gators (6-0) with a homer and two RBI. Johnson went 3-for-5 with three RBI while Pigott and McMahan both had two hits. Hudson Randall got the win after going 5.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits.
The Eagles now make the trip to Fort Myers for their annual exhibition against the Boston Red Sox Saturday at City of Palms Park. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
Follow BCSportsNews on Twitter for an in-depth look at pregame activity during batting practice.
Senior Geoff Oxley will start on the mound for BC and will make his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. The Red Sox will throw Stolmy Pimentel to start the game.
The Red Sox announced their lineup already and it is listed below.
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Darnell McDonald LF
Ryan Kalish CF
Lars Anderson 1B
Josh Reddick RF
Ryan Lavarnway C