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Sunday May 14, 2000Gator Baseball Sweeps Georgia

Gainesville, FL

No. 25 Florida combined early hitting with strong relief pitching to beat Georgia 7-4 and sweep the final weekend series of the 2000 season. Senior Kurt Keene led Florida on senior day with a 2-for-4 performance scoring two runs with one RBI.

Relievers Kenny Birch and Jay Belflower pitched the final four innings of the game without allowing a run and only four combined hits. Belflower picked up his fourth save of the year and second of the series. Gator starter Joey Simon picked up the win improving to 8-2. Simon pitched five innings giving up four runs, while only one was earned.

Mark Kiger led off the first inning with a double to centerfield. Kiger later scored on a Krt Keene sacrifice fly to give UF a 1-0 lead. Kiger finished the afternoon 2-for-4 and the one scored run.

UF used their half of the third inning to score four runs and take a commanding lead. Keene led off the inning with a single to center. Jason Dill then doubled down the leftfield line to put Gators at second and third. After Tim Olson grounded out, Peter Nystrom was hit by a pitch to load the bases for senior catcher Tony Socarras. Socarras chopped the first pitch he saw between the pitcher and third baseman. Bulldog pitcher Bill Sharpton fielded the ball and threw the ball away from the catcher for two unearned runs to score. The Gators scored two more runs in the inning on a single and a wild pitch.

The Gators scored one run in the seventh and eighth innings to finish off their scoring. Sharpton, the Bulldog starter, took the loss and fell to 3- 4.

Florida finished the season 38-20-1 and 18-11-1 in the SEC. The record puts the Gators in second place of the SEC Eastern division and the No. 4 seed for the SEC Tournamnet. Georgia finished 31-24 and 14-15 in the SEC.

The Gators begin their postseason run Wednesday at the SEC Tournament.

The NCAA will announce regional hosts sites Monday (May 15) at 3 pm. The 64-team field will then be announced the following Monday (May 22) on ESPN.
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