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Baseball gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by mikemccall, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. mikemccall

    mikemccall Guest

    Alligator Writer

    UF baseball coach Pat McMahon had a message for baseball fans after Sunday's game against Kentucky.

    "Don't leave early."

    The Gators (23-20, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) clinched Sunday's game -- and the series with the Wildcats -- with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

    With the bases loaded and one out, UF outfielder Chris Petrie sent a 1-1 pitch into left-center field to propel the Gators to a 5-4 victory.

    The pinch-hit at-bat was Petrie's only plate appearance of the series.

    "I was ready before the inning," Petrie said. "I knew that I might get to pinch hit. I was looking for something away, and fortunately he threw it away when I was looking there."

    The dramatic finish was set up by a two-run outburst by Kentucky (27-12-1, 7-10-1 SEC) in the top of the ninth.

    Trailing 4-2, the Wildcats tied the score with a double and two RBI singles in an inning that almost never happened. Due to NCAA travel restrictions, a new inning could not begin after 2:15 p.m. in order to allow Kentucky enough time to catch a flight out of Jacksonville.

    With the Gators leading 3-2 and coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth after 2, it didn't look like the Wildcats would have another chance.

    After senior Austin Pride singled in a run to extend the lead to 4-2, Brian Leclerc fouled out to end the inning at 2:11, giving the Wildcats just enough time to tie the game.

    Despite an opportunity to run out the clock by stalling, UF treated the inning like any other, with a few batters swinging on the first pitch.

    "We wanted to win the right way," said Leclerc, who finished 3 for 4. "We don't want to win like that -- we're better than that."

    Third baseman Jon Townsend led the Gators with a 3-for-5 day with two RBI.

    Townsend was also the top performer in Saturday's 10-7 win, going 3 for 5 with two RBI and three runs, perhaps because of some added motivation -- the Kentucky native spent two years at the Wildcats' in-state rival, Louisville.

    "I really like all of the guys who go to UK," he said. "But still, it's pretty fun to beat the Wildcats."

    Friday's contest was much less competitive, as Kentucky used a six-run second inning to earn a 9-2 win. Wildcats starter Chris Rusin threw a complete game to pick up the win, while UF's Tony Davis took the loss in just 1 innings of work.

    The loss prompted McMahon to switch the batting order for the last two games, moving Townsend from leadoff to fourth and slugger Matt LaPorta to second.

    The move paid off, especially for Townsend.

    "I've been doing a decent job when there are guys on base, and a not-so-decent job of leading off innings, so it helped me out for sure," he said.

    The win placed the Gators in a tie for second with No. 4 South Carolina in the SEC East and was especially crucial with a trip to No. 1 Vanderbilt coming next weekend.

    "We did our part," Leclerc said. "We'll let all of the other stuff take care of itself, and we're going to just keep trying to handle our business."
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    So he's saying, don't ever leave early? Since the game's over, he couldn't relay that information to his fans, unless they were time travelers. Either way, it's a pretty weak opener.
  3. mikemccall

    mikemccall Guest

    Not sure how this works -- if I'm not getting comments does that mean it's OK?
    I'd love for someone to rip this apart so I can learn from it.
  4. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Mike, thanks for posting. I want to clear something up...

    So this is not a daily paper I take it? This was written over a three-game weekend series?

    I'm not sure what the style is at your paper, but this gamer is difficult to read because you're talking about all three games and it's not clearly defined. Does that make sense?

    A few suggestions...

    Do a results break out box. Have the score of each game, a quick synopsis of what happened. Then, take some sort of featury angle. Especially because this seemed like a pedestrian three-game mid-season series between Florida and Kentucky.

    There was potential for some great stories here!

    •Petrie's only at-bat of the series he won the game. Great starting point for a profile on this kid.

    •A story on NCAA travel restrictions... hell, I never knew that.

    •The change in line up with Townsend and LaPorta.

    •Florida is in a tie for second in the SEC with a big series at No. 1 Vandy. Depending on when your next paper comes out, if its closer to next weekend, readers want to know about the upcoming series, last weekend is old news.

    Honestly, most people are not going to take the time to read three recaps on a UF-Kentucky baseball game... if they cared, they would have went to one of the games or already read the recap online or on a message board, or talked to one of the players to see what happened... not in Monday's University rag.

    As for your lede... did the coach say that? I'm assuming with the quotes, but even a "Don't leave early," he said. Would have helped the flow. Even at that, it's still pretty weak. Ledes are meant to hook the reader, I wasn't hooked.
  5. mikemccall

    mikemccall Guest

    Yea we are a daily paper, but only on weekdays, so we can't get individual gamers for series unless we just run them online. For the paper, it's usually a recap of all three, but mostly focused on the Sunday game.
    I would love to do more on those topics you suggested, but we just don't have room. For all the advances we do a feature on a player, but we rarely have space for two or three articles on one game or series.
    As far as results boxes go, that's a great idea I just doubt we have room. We are the student-run paper for the University of Florida, so there is a lot more space for that stuff in football season.
    I know the lead wasn't great, I need to work on that.
    Thanks for your input.
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