ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
62°
Broken Clouds
H 69° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    62°
    Current Conditions
    Broken Clouds. H 69° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    68°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 69° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    66°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 69° L 59°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Zack Powers hits two grand slams, lifts Florida to 16-5 win over Duke

For Zack Powers, hitting two grand slams Sunday was just a bonus. After missing all of 2012 with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, he was happy to simply be back on the field.

Making his first career start at first base, Powers belted two grand slams and knocked in nine runs as a late-inning offensive outburst helped Florida defeat Duke 16-5 in the finale of the season-opening series at McKethan Stadium.

“It’s great to have a good game like this, but it’s great to actually be back and playing,” Powers said. “It’s special just to get out on the field and start playing baseball.”

Powers had just seven RBIs in his career before coming up one shy of a Florida record with nine Sunday. His home runs were the first two of his career.

Not since Preston Tucker in 2009 has Florida had a player hit multiple grand slams in a game. Although the Gators smacked an NCAA-best 75 home runs last season, none of them were grand slams. UF’s last grand slam before Sunday was during the 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament.

“I was very happy for Zack,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I’m just pleased that he’s healthy and contributing like we always knew he could.”

Before Powers’ bombs pushed the final margin to 11, his sacrifice fly to deep center with the bases loaded in the sixth inning tied the score at 3.

“I did think I got all of that one,” Powers said of narrowly missing a third grand slam. “But it’s great just to get an RBI out of it.”

Stepping to the plate in the seventh with the bases loaded and UF leading 6-3, Powers said he was looking for a single to extend UF’s lead. Instead, he found a 2-2 fastball he liked and pounded it over the right-field fence.

When Powers went up to the plate with the bases loaded and UF ahead by seven in the eighth, he took a different approach.

“The second time up, I kind of got greedy and wanted to go for it,” Powers said.

After fouling off the first 3-2 offering, Powers found a fastball he could handle and launched a towering fly ball to right field.

Duke’s Jeff Kremer slowly backpedalled and appeared as if he might have a play on the ball, but his leaping effort at the wall came up a few feet short.

Powers’ offensive explosion headlined a late resurgence for UF’s offense, which broke open a close game by pounding out 14 runs on 11 hits in Sunday’s final three innings. The Gators notched only nine runs on 14 hits in the series’ first 22 frames.

“We needed an inning like that,” O’Sullivan said. “We were kind of scraping by all weekend.”

For his part in the turnaround, Powers gets a few “good game” accolades from his teammates and one other reward.

“I get extra food whenever we go through the line after the game,” Powers said.

The Gators won two out of three games in the season-opening series for both teams. UF’s next game is Tuesday night at Central Florida.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Why did a Texas teacher accused of having an improper relationship with a student smile in her mugshot? Her lawyer has offered an explanation. According to Dallas-Fort Worth's KXAS, Jason Nassour, attorney for Lockhart High School anatomy teacher Sarah Fowlkes, said she was grinning because she's innocent. >> PREVIOUS STORY: Teacher accused of improper relationship with student smiles in mugshot  'This isn't a guilty person sitting there like they just got caught,' Nassour told KXAS. 'When everything's fleshed out, it won't be as it appears.' Lockhart police began investigating the incident March 10 after a school administrator reported that 'an educator at the school may be having an inappropriate relationship with a currently enrolled student,' according to the arrest affidavit. A 17-year-old student claimed that Fowlkes, 27, touched his genitals and that he 'made contact with the defendant's breasts,' the affidavit said. >> See the affidavit here Fowlkes was arrested on a charge of 'improper relationship between educator and student,' police said. The school district also suspended Fowlkes, The Austin American-Statesman reported. 'Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly,' Lockhart Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement, the American-Statesman reported. 'The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child.' Bohn also alerted parents about the arrest and suspension in an email, the American-Statesman reported. >> On Statesman.com: Lockhart High teacher accused of improper relationship with student Nassour told KXAS that Fowlkes 'was arrested on the statement of a 17-year-old kid with no corroborating evidence.' >> Read more trending news According to the American-Statesman, Fowlkes, who taught anatomy and physiology and environmental systems at Lockhart High, previously taught science and social studies at Plum Creek Elementary School. The Houston Chronicle, citing Fowlkes' social media accounts, reported that she has been married since 2013.
  • Two shoppers claimed they received fake currency when they requested cash back from a Florida Walmart, a police report said.  On March 18, deputies from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Walmart on 103rd Street, where two Jacksonville residents – Taijahn Robinson and Tometta Lattella – said they received fake bills as cash back during purchases made on March 17.  Walmart said Wednesday it is investigating to confirm the claims. The victims told JSO that they didn't know the bills were fake until the day after they shopped at Walmart.  >> Read more trending news “We take these situations seriously and are currently working both internally and with local law enforcement to confirm the claims,' Walmart said in a statement.  Robinson and Lattella do not know each other, JSO said in the report. Lattella's son obtained $100 as cash back from a purchase made at 10:30 p.m., police said. The bill obtained was smaller than a typical $100 bill, JSO said, and didn't have proper security markings.  Earlier, about 9 p.m., Robinson said she obtained $100 as cash back from the same register. Robinson received three fake $20 bills with the same serial number, JSO said.  The fake money was confiscated by authorities.  Walmart didn't reimburse the shoppers. The manager on duty told Robinson and Lattella that they would need to file a formal complaint with Walmart's corporate office. 
  • A 27-year-old science teacher at a Texas high school has been arrested after being accused of having an improper relationship with a student, the Lockhart school district announced Monday. >> UPDATE: Teacher accused of improper relationship smiled because she is innocent, lawyer says Lockhart High School teacher Sarah Fowlkes, a school district employee since October 2014, also was suspended from her job. The district said it was alerting the State Board for Educator Certification about the case. The district said it first received a report about the relationship on March 10, before the start of spring break, and alerted Lockhart police and Child Protective Services. Police said the student was 17 years old. >> Read more trending news “Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly,” Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement. “The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child.” Bohn emailed Lockhart High parents on Monday to notify them of the arrest and Fowlkes’ suspension. The superintendent also asked parents to speak with their children about what happened. “If any student or parent has information about this situation, please contact the Lockhart Police Department at 512-398-4401,” Bohn wrote. Counselors also would be available at the high school for support, she said. Fowlkes, who grew up in Dripping Springs, taught anatomy and physiology and environmental systems, according to a cached webpage that has since been deleted from the district’s website. According to the webpage, Fowlkes earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from St. Edwards University and went through the UTeach program at the University of Texas before earning an alternative teaching certification. She previously was a third- and fifth-grade science and social studies teacher at Plum Creek Elementary in the district.
  • Ten structures are “lost” as the result of a fast-moving wildfire in Bryceville. Nassau County Emergency Management says the official emergency shelter set up for evacuees is the Bryceville Baptist Church at 7732 US Hwy 301. The American Red Cross is cooperating with that shelter. The Florida Highway Patrol says two other shelters have been established- one at Gray Gables Church, 54031 Church Road and one at Callahan First Baptist Church, 45090 Green Avenue. Shifting winds drove the fire, which the Florida Forest Service for the District says is more than 350 acres around CR 119, CR 121, and Countryside Acres. As of 9:30PM, the fire was reported as 50% contained. The evacuations will remain in effect until the fire is completely contained. The Florida Forest Service Jacksonville says the fire started with someone burning paperback books, and that it is illegal to burn household garbage in Florida. Our partner Action News Jax reports the landowner will be held responsible. Nassau County Firefighters, the Florida Forest Service, and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue are all working the scene. Facilities have been taking in animals from anyone who had to evacuate. All Paws Boarding at 8356 US Hwy 301 is sheltering dogs and cats. You’re asked to bring a crate and vaccination history if you can. The Walker Quarter Horse Farm at 14452 Normandy Blvd is taking in horses for free, but request owners bring feed, hay, and supplies.
  • Prior to Monday’s premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 24, former figure skater and “DWTS” champion Kristi Yamaguchi took to Twitter to wish fellow former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan good luck in the worst way possible. >> Read more trending news Hours before Kerrigan took the stage, Yamaguchi tweeted, “So excited for you @NancyAKerrigan ! Can’t wait to see you grace that ballroom floor, break a leg!” Yes, that’s right. She told Kerrigan, victim of the famous 1994 attack, in which she was assaulted with a police-style baton to the knee, to “break a leg.” Just before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit that year, a man, who had been paid by Kerrigan rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, struck her on the right knee, injuring her leg. While it wasn’t broken, Kerrigan did suffer cuts, bruises and swelling and walked with a limp. Twitter responded with generally surprised reactions. Of course, Yamaguchi was just employing a common -- if ill-fitting, considering Kerrigan’s history -- phrase, but that didn’t stop the internet from freaking out over it. Yamaguchi has not clarified her comment, nor has she deleted the tweet.

The Latest News Videos