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Sunday March 18, 2001LSU Rallies to Defeat Florida Baseball 10-7

Baton Rouge, La.

No. 8 LSU broke a 5-5 tie with three runs in the fifth inning and went on to defeat Florida 10-7 Sunday before 7,562 fans at Alex Box Stadium. The win improves No. 8 LSU to 17-6-1 overall and 4-2 in the SEC while Florida drops to 11-13 overall and 0-6 in the SEC.

LSU broke a 5-5 tie with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers loaded the bases on a Bryan Moore walk, an Aaron Hill hit by pitch and a Todd Linden single. Two runs scored when Gator reliever Kenny Birch overthrew first base while attempting to pick off Linden. Sean Barker drove in the other run on a RBI groundout. The Tigers put the game out of reach with an two-run eighth fueled by a two-RBI double from Sean Barker. That made the score 10-6.

Florida battled back to within 10-7 on Matt Siegel’s seventh inning home run and Kevin Estrada’s eighth inning RBI fielder’s choice but that was as close as the Gators came.

The Gators went up 5-1 in the fourth when Matt Siegel (walk) and Mark Kiger (single) reached base on consecutive plays and Matt Goss drove Siegel in on a RBI double. Pat Osborn followed with a two-RBI double to left center and Kevin Estrada drove Osborn in on a RBI single to rightfield.

But LSU rallied for four runs to tie at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth on two consecutive walks and a Todd Linden RBI single. David Raymer drove in a run on a RBI fielder’s choice and Ryan Theriot drove two more runs home on a double to right centerfield.

Florida grabbed an early 1-0 lead with a run in the third inning. Pat Osborn led off with a single to rightfield, advanced to second third on a balk and a Kevin Estrada sacrifice bunt. Brian Rose drove him in with a single to leftfield. LSU tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the third when David Raymer walked, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a balk.

Both Matt Goss and Mark Kiger extended their hit streaks to 13 games.

Florida has never begun conference play with six straight SEC losses. The Gators’ worst start was a 1-4 start in 1986.

Florida is next in action Tuesday and Wednesday at McKethan Stadium vs. Maine. Tuesday’s game will be televised on Sunshine Network at 7 p.m. while Wednesday’s game begins at 7 p.m. Next weekend, the Gators host Arkansas for a three-game series Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.). Sunday’s game will be televised live on Sunshine Network.

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