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Saturday February 12, 2000Gator Baseball Hands Miami 4-3 Loss

Gainesville, FL

Mark Kiger singled to right field just out of the reach of Hurricane right fielder Charlton Jimerson as Matt Siegel scored from third base to win the game for the No. 24 Florida 4-3 Saturday at McKethan Stadium. The Gators (4-3) won for the ninth consecutive time against the Hurricanes (4-4) in Gainesville, scoring two runs in the decisive ninth-inning to secure the win.

Freshman closer Joey Simon (1-1) got the win for the Gators, pitching 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Simon gave up only one hit and pitched out of a no-outs, bases loaded situation in the ninth inning. Luke Debold (1-1) took the loss for the Hurricanes.

Fifth-ranked Miami took a 3-2 lead on a two-run home run by Kris Clute off Hart in the seventh inning, spoiling a good performance for Hart. Hart allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits over 6.1 innings. UM looked to break open the game in the top of the ninth after loading the bases on three consecutive errors by shortstop Tim Olson. Simon, who was pitching in just his fourth career game, forced Clute into a fielder's choice ground out and served up an inning-ending double play.

After DeBold got Olson to ground out, senior catcher Tony Socarras hit his third home run of the season to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Florida then loaded the bases on singles by Siegel and Brian Haught, as well as a two-out walk to Ryan Raburn to set up Kiger's game-winning heroics.

Florida and Miami play the final game of the series at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
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