Sunday February 18, 2001Gator Baseball Rallies to Defeat FSU 6-5
No. 21 Florida took advantage of strong pitching performance from starter Joey Simon and reliever Keith Ramsey to come-from-behind to win a 6-5 decision against No. 11 Florida State Saturday at Dick Howser Stadium. The victory improved Florida to 4-4 on the season while Florida State falls to 3-4.
With the victory, Florida snapped Florida State’s six-game winning streak and four-game home winning streak in the series. Florida rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a commanding 6-4 lead. It was Florida’s first come-from-behind victory of the season.
Florida starter Joey Simon (2-2) earned the victory after throwing the first 6.0 innings. He struck out five batters and allowed four hits and four runs (three earned) in the victory. The 6.0 innings was the longest a Florida pitcher had thrown all season. Reliever Keith Ramsey pitched the final 3.0 innings for his second save of the season. Ramsey allowed only two hits and one run (unearned) and struck out four batters.
Florida went up 6-4 when it loaded the bases on the top of the seventh. Ryan Shealy led off with a walk, David Klebonis was hit by pitch and Kevin Estrada reached base when FSU’s leftfielder dropped a pop fly. Nick Whidden replaced FSU reliever Robby Read and walked Brian Rose, scoring Shealy. Aaron Davidson’s RBI fielders choice scored Klebonis from third for the second run.
Florida rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth inning. The Gators battled back from a 3-1 deficit when Ryan Shealy led off with a single, followed by a David Klebonis double off the fence in right center. FSU starter Matt Lynch was replaced by Robby Read. On the at bat, Shealy scored when Kevin Estrada reached on an RBI errror to first base and Brian Rose drove home both Klebonis and Estrada on a double down the leftfield line. After striking out Aaron Davidson, Read walked both Matt Siegel and Pat Osborn to load the bases but got out of the inning when he struck out Ben Harrison.
Florida State threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Karl Jernigan reached base on an error and Mike Futrell doubled. Tony Richie followed with an RBI single to leftfield scoring Jernigan but Futrell was thrown out at home attempting to score. Ramsey got out of the inning when Blair McCaleb lined into a double play.
Ramsey struck out the side in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Florida State grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second on John-Ford Griffin’s two-RBI single and Ryan Barthelemy’s RBI double in the second inning and an error in the first inning.
Florida took a 1-0 first inning lead when Matt Siegel scored on Ryan Shealy’s RBI fielders choice.
Pat Osborn extended his hitting streak to a team-leading eight games and had his sixth multi-hit day in eight games this year. The game also saw the return of freshman centerfielder Ben Harrison, who sat out two games due to a groin injury. Harrison, who had a pinch hit at bat in yesterday’s game, made his fifth start of his career.
Florida is back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-game series against Winthrop. Game times are 7 p.m. (Tuesday) and 5 p.m. (Wednesday) at McKethan Stadium. Next weekend, Florida hosts Florida State for the third and fourth games of the four-game set. Game times are Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised live on Sunshine Network.