Friday March 9, 2001Tennessee Defeats Gator Baseball in Game One, 7-3
No. 23 Tennessee held Florida to a season-low six hits in registering a 7-3 baseball victory Friday at McKethan Stadium. The game marked the SEC season opener for both teams. Florida dropped to 9-8 on the season and 0-1 in the SEC while Tennessee improved to 14-2 overall and 1-0 in the SEC.
Vols starter Brian Gates (3-1) earned the victory after throwing 6.0 innings and allowing three runs and two walks. He struck out five batters. Brandon Crowe earned his first save of the season after pitching the final 3.0 innings, allowing no runs and no hits while striking out four batters.
Florida grabbed an early lead with a run in the first inning on Ryan Shealy’s RBI double to right centerfield. Tennessee answered with two runs in the fourth on Javi Herrera’s two-RBI home run to left field.
The Vols went up 5-1 with three runs in the top of the fifth, two coming on Kris Bennett’s home run to left center followed by an errant throw that scored Chris Burke from third base.
Florida scored two runs in the sixth on Pat Osborn’s RBI single and Matt Goss’ RBI fielders choice but that was the closest Florida came.
Florida starter Joey Simon (3-3) took the loss. He went 7.0 innings and allowed nine hits and seven runs. Keith Brice struck out three batters over the final 2.0 innings for Florida.
Herrera led Tennessee with a 2-4, four RBI day, while Brandon Hopkins, Matt Sternberg and Kris Bennett each collected two hits apiece. Six Gators each collected one hit including Ryan Shealy who extended his hit streak to 14 games.
The two teams meet for game two tomorrow at McKethan Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. Game three is scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m.