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Friday April 28, 2000Baseball Rallies to Defeat Auburn, 5-3

Gainesville, FL

Matt Gossí pinch-hit two run single in the bottom of the eighth propelled the University of Florida baseball team to a 5-3 win over eighth-ranked Auburn Friday night at McKethan Stadium at Perry Field.

The Gators (32-17-1) won for the 10th time in their final at-bat this year and moved into sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. Florida is 13-8-1 in league play, while Georgia, who dropped a 9-5 decision to South Carolina is in third at 12-9.

Goss (pictured left), who was batting for the first time since March 18th, singled off Auburn closer Colter Bean (8-2) to bring home Tim Olson and Peter Nystrom for the 4-3 lead. The Tigers are now 36-12 and 13-9 in league play.

Junior lefthander Mike Smalley (4-6) went the distance in the victory. Smalley, who won for the first time since February 29th, surrendered just five hits and three earned runs, while fanning eight.

The Gator rally in the eighth began when Kurt Keene reached on an error and Jason Dill followed with a walk. Olson then loaded the bases on another Tiger fielding error. Nystrom grounded into a fielders choice, forcing Keene at home and then Tony Socarras struck out looking. Just as it appeared the Gators would squander another bases loaded opportunity (they left the sacks full in the first), pinch-hitter Matt Siegel drew a walk to force in a run and set the stage for Goss.

The two teams meet in game two of the series Saturday night at 7 p.m. Sunshine Network will broadcast the game live.

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