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Friday May 18, 2001Baseball Falls to Ole Miss 7-6 in SEC Tournament

Birmingham, Ala.

Ole Miss broke a 4-4 tie with a three run seventh inning to defeat Florida 7-6 Friday in the SEC Baseball Tournament at Hoover-Met Stadium. The loss eliminates Florida from SEC Tournament play.

With the loss, Florida now awaits its NCAA postseason future. The entire 64-team NCAA Baseball Tournament field will be announced live on ESPN Monday, May 21st at 3 p.m. ET. Ole Miss advances to play LSU (39-18-1) Saturday at 11 a.m./10 a.m. CT and must defeat the Tigers two straight games to advance to the SEC Championship game.

Florida drops to 34-25 on the year and Ole Miss improves to 38-20-1 overall.

With the score tied at 4-4, Ole Miss rallied for three runs to take a 7-4 lead. Lance Jones drove in Clint Farrar from second base when he hit a 1-0 pitch over UF centerfielder Matt Gossí head. The hit came after Farrar led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on Chad Sterbensí sacrifice bunt. The Rebels followed with two more runs on a Josh Christian RBI single and Glen Morris sacrifice fly.

Florida rallied back to within 7-6 with two runs in the top of the eighth when Matt Goss led off with a double, advanced to third on Pat Osbornís single and scored on Matt Siegelís sacrifice fly. Osborn scored on Kevin Estradaís single down the right field line. That was as close as the Gators came.

Ole Miss reliever Nick Bradshaw (4-1) earned the win after pitching 3.1 innings. He allowed four his, two runs and struck out two of his 15 batters faced. Glen Morris earned his ninth save of the year after throwing the final 2.0 innings.

"Ole Miss played hard and they took advantage of a couple of mistakes," Florida coach Andy Lopez said. "That was the case today. Nick Bradshaw was magnificent today. Early in the game we were hitting the ball hard and we battled back pretty well but I guess it wasnít meant to be."

Florida starter Alex Hart (3-3) pitched his longest outing of the season and longest since 2/12/00 in taking the loss. The sophomore pitched 6.0 innings, allowed five hits, four earned runs and struck out two batters.

Ole Miss took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on an errant throw. Ole Miss loaded the bases in the first inning when Clint Farrar led off with a walk followed by a Chad Sterbens single and a Burney Hutchinson walk. Lance Jones drove in the first run with his bases loaded hit by pitch. On the next play with the bases loaded, UF third baseman Pat Osborn fielded a Carl Lafferty ground ball and threw home to catcher Brian Rose to register the force out, but Rose, attempting to double off Lafferty at first base overthrew Jason Dill as two more runs crossed the plate.

But the Gators battled back. Florida tied the game at 3-3 in the third inning when Matt Siegel led off with a single, followed by a Kevin Estrada single and Aaron Davidson RBI single which drove home Siegel from second base. After a Estrada and Davidson advanced on a double steal, a wild pitch scored Estrada from third base. Mark Kiger walked on five pitches and Jason Dill drove in Davidson from third on a RBI single up the middle.

Florida took a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning when Matt Siegel singled, moved to second on a balk and scored on Kevin Estradaís double down the leftfield line.

Ole Miss tied the game at 4-4 when Clint Farrar scored on an outfield fielding errror.

Florida had an opportunity to break the 4-4 tie in the seventh inning when it loaded the bases with two outs but a ground out ended the inning.

Kevin Estrada (3-4, two RBI, run scored) and Jason Dill (3-5, one RBI) led Florida with three hits apiece. Dill concluded the three-game SEC Tournament hitting .545 (6-11). Matt Goss and Matt Siegel each collected two hits apiece. Ole Miss was led by Lance Jonesí 1-2, two RBI, two run day.

Florida outhit Ole Miss 13-8 but committed three errors.

GAME NOTES

*With its two double plays (first inning/second inning), Florida set its school record for double plays turned in a season with 73. Florida also registered 72 double plays during the 1997 season.

*Matt Goss has now registered hits in 15 of the last 16 games. Goss concludes the SEC Tournament with a .444 average (4-9 with four RBI).

* Kevin Estrada and Aaron Davidson become the only duo in Florida baseball history to steal 30+ bases in the same year. Aaron Davidson stole his 30th base of the season in the fourth inning.

*Kevin Estrada was caught stealing home in the fourth inning. Florida is 2-3 this season when attempting to steal home (Estrada and Goss are the ones who have stolen home this season).

*The 6.0 inning outing was Alex Hartís longest start of the season and longest since a 6.1 outing vs. Miami on 2/12/00.

*Jason Dill hit .545 (6-11) in the tournament.

--UF--

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