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Monday May 22, 2000LSU Defeats Florida in SEC Baseball Tournament

Birmingham, Ala.

LSU scored seven runs in the first inning to build a lead Florida could not overcome to claim the Southeastern Conference Tournament title with a 9-6 victory at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. It was LSU's first tournament title since 1992.

The Tigers scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning off UF starter Stuart McFarland on only two hits. The big blow of the inning was a grand slam by Wally Pontiff off reliever Kenny Birch.

Birch, who pitched a career-best six innings, held LSU in check with four scoreless innings as Florida battled back to pull within 7-6. But, the Tigers added an eighth run in the sixth inning and ninth run in the eighth inning while UF failed to pull any closer.

The Gators were led by Tim Olson, who had three hits on the day, failing to hit for the cycle by only a home run. Matt Siegel added his sixth home run of the season.

Juniors Mike Smalley and Olson and senior Kurt Keene were named to the SEC All-Tournament Team. Smalley pitched seven innings in Florida's tournament opening win against Auburn.

Florida awaits its NCAA Regional fate announced Monday at 3 p.m. on ESPN.

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