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Saturday March 10, 2001Tennessee Hands Florida 12-6 Baseball Decision

Gainesville, FL

No. 23 Tennessee broke a 5-5 tie with a three-run fifth inning as it coasted to a 12-6 victory against Florida Saturday before 1,742 fans at McKethan Stadium. The victory improves Tennessee to 15-2 overall and 2-0 in the SEC while Florida drops to 9-9 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Game three of the three-game series is tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

It was a game of lost opportunities for Florida as the Gators stranded 11 baserunners on the night. Two innings ended with three runners left on base.

Tennessee went up early as it built a 5-0 third inning lead with four runs in the third inning using Stevie Danielís RBI double, Jeff Christensenís two-RBI single and Dan Wilsonís sacrifice fly.

Trailing 5-0, Florida rallied with five runs in the bottom of the third inning. Matt Goss blasted his first home run of the season, a three-run shot over the rightfield wall. It was Gossí first home run in 17 games and 51 at bats. Aaron Davidson followed with an RBI single to make it 5-5.

The Vols made it 8-5 with three runs in the fifth on Dennis Gomezís RBI single, Matt Sternbergís RBI single and Kris Bennettís sacrifice fly.

Florida closed within 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth on Matt Gossí sacrifice fly but stranded three runners to end the inning. That was as close as Florida came as Tennessee scored for three more runs in the eighth.

Tennessee reliever Joe Bertolino (1-0) pitched 2.2 innings and alllowed two hits and one run for the win. Patrick Hicklen earned his second save of the season after throwing the final 3.2 innings. He struck out two batters and allowed two hits.

Florida reliever Jay Belflower (1-3) took the loss after throwing 2.1 innings. He allowed six hits on five runs (four earned runs) in relieving starter Jimmy Ramshaw. Ramshaw pitched the first two innings.

Goss led Florida with a 1-4 day with four RBI. Mark Kiger went 2-3 with two walks and Aaron Davidson contributed two hits. Ryan Shealy extended his hit streak to a team season-long 15 games.

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