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Saturday February 26, 2000Florida Baseball Loses to FSU 6-2

Tallahassee, FL

Top-ranked Florida State broke open a 1-0 game with a four-run sixth inning to prevail 6-2 Saturday in front of 5,039 fans at Dick Howser Stadium. Florida dropped to 6-6 on the season with its third consecutive loss to the Seminoles, while FSU improved to 12-2 on the season.

The Gators got a strong performance out of starter Jay Belflower, who held FSU to a single run through the first five innings. But, FSU took advantage of a Florida error to lead off the sixth, scoring four runs in the inning. Belflower (1-1) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits over 5.1 innings.

FSU’s Jon McDonald earned the win for the Seminoles with 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing six UF hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

FSU second baseman Marshall McDougall led off the sixth inning with a pop up to short right field that was dropped by UF right fielder Tim Olson. FSU then loaded the bases on a single by Ryan Barthelemy and a hit batter, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly that saw Olson collide with second baseman Mark Kiger in short right field. Kiger made the catch as one run scored on the sacrifice fly but had to leave the game with two stitches to a cut on his head.

Shortstop Brett Groves then doubled to plate a second run and pinch hitter Pichi Balet singled off releiver Kenny Birch to score two additional runs as FSU led 5-1.

“We got good pitching from Jay Belflower,” said Lopez. “But, the fourth inning got away from us. Give credit to Florida State, they took advantage of our mistakes.”

Florida left runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings, including a bases loaded situation in the first inning that ended in a double play.

“McDonald pitched out of a tremendous jam in the first inning and it set the tone for us offensively,” said Lopez, whose club left 12 runners on base in the game.

The Gators also stranded Matt Siegel in the second, who had doubled with one out in the inning, and a UF runner was stranded on third in the fourth on an inning-ending double play.

Florida continued to get runners on base in the seventh, loading the bases off McDonald on a single by Kevin Estrada and pair of walks. FSU reliever Daniel Hodges struck out Aaron Davidson to end the threat.

Florida finally got on the board in the eighth inning when pinch hitter Ryan Shealy belted a two-run home run to pull UF within 6-2. Florida put two runners on base in the ninth before Olson flyed out to center field to end the game.

Jason Dill, Siegel and Olson each had two hits on the day for Florida.

The two teams will play the final game of the series at 2 p.m. Sunday. The game can be heard locally on WGGG-AM 1230 starting at 1:50 p.m.

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