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Sunday March 11, 2001Tennessee Hands Florida 8-2 Baseball Loss

Gainesville, FL

Tennessee pitcher Brandon Crowe shutout Florida over eight innings as the Volunteers defeated the Gators 8-2 before 1,470 fans at McKethan Stadium. Florida falls to 9-10 overall and 0-3 in the SEC while No. 23 Tennessee improves to 16-2 overall and 3-0 SEC.

The Vols victory completed a three-game weekend sweep.

Crowe (3-0) struck out four batters and allowed eight hits and one walk. Florida starter Robbie Wells drops to 1-1 after pitching the first 1.2 innings.

Tennessee leadoff hitter Chris Burke celebrated his 21st birthday with a 4 for 5 performance. The shortstop hit two home runs, two singles and finished with three RBI and two runs scored.

Burke led off the game with a homerun to right field. Tennessee scored two more runs in the first on a Dan Wilson’s double down the left field line and a Kris Bennett’s RBI single to go up 3-0.

The Volunteers finished with four homeruns in the game. Matt Sternberg (1 for 3) and Jeff Christensen (1-4, 3 runs) homered once each for Tennessee. Three of the four homers led off innings for the Vols.

Florida tried a late rally scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Ryan Shealy flew out to center to end the game with the bases loaded. For the second consecutive game, Florida stranded 11 baserunners.

Mark Kiger led Florida with a 3-5, RBI day. Kiger is now hitting .524. Ryan Shealy went 2-5 and extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the 4th inning.

Florida was swept for the first time at home since May 14-16, 1999 when the Gators dropped three straight against Alabama. Florida begins SEC play at 0-3 for the first time since 1986 when LSU swept the Gators to begin SEC play.

Florida returns to action against Fordham for a two-game midweek series. Both Tuesday and Wednesday’s games begin at 7 p.m.

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