Junior Pete Nystrom (pictured) hit a three-run home run in the ninth
inning to give Florida a 8-5 come-from-behind victory Saturday in the
second game of the series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Florida improved to
30-17-1, 11-8-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
With the game tied at 5, Florida put runners on first and second on
singles by Kurt Keene and Tim Olson in the top of the ninth inning.
Nystrom then hit a 3-2 curveball from Joe Bertolino (4-3) over the left
field fence for the game-winning home run. It marked Florida’s SEC-leading
eighth win in its last at-bat this season.
Reliever Eddie Rojas pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win, improving
his record to a 4-0 on the season. He pitched a career-high 6.2 innings,
allowing just one run on three hits in relief of UF starter Jeff Cardozo.
He also recorded a career-high six strikeouts.
“Eddie did a great job for us today,” said Head Coach Andy Lopez. “It was
very similar to last night’s game, but tonight we got the better of
Florida lost 5-4 in the series opener Friday on a home run in the bottom
of the eighth inning.
Early in the game, it looked like Florida was headed for a second loss in
The Vols jumped out to a four-run advantage on Cardozo with two home runs
and a pair of unearned runs in the first three innings. UT left fielder
Ryan Moffett hit a home run with one out in the second inning to get
Tennessee (34-16-1, 7-11 SEC) on the board. Jeff Baumtrog then singled,
advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Kris Bennett reached on an
error by Aaron Sobieraj, second baseman Chris Burke tripled to plate both
runs for a 3-0 UT lead.
The Vols added a fourth run in the third on a solo home run by Jeff
Christensen to leadoff the inning.
After leaving at least one runner on base in the first four innings, UF
finally got on the board with two runs via a double by Keene, who went 4-
for-4 on the night with two runs scored and two RBI. The Gators eventually
loaded the bases in the inning before Tony Socarras struck out to end the
inning and the threat.
Florida struck again in the sixth inning, scoring three runs to tie the
game. Sobieraj reached base on hit by pitch, scoring when UT third baseman
Kris Bennett threw the ball away on a grounder by Ryan Raburn. Raburn came
around to score when the throw to the plate went in the Florida dugout.
Jason Dill then singled home Keene, who had singled three batters later in
the inning, to tie the game.
UF outfielder Tim Olson extended his hit streak to 29 games with a fourth
inning single on a bouncer to third base. It is the fifth longest streak
in Southeastern Conference history. He finished 2-for-5 on the night.
Florida and Tennessee play the final game of the series Sunday at 2:00 p.m.