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Wednesday February 6, 2002Baseball Downs Mercer 11-7

Gainesville, FL

Senior David Klebonis finished with a three-hit, four RBI evening as No. 21/23 Florida took advantage of a 14-hit offensive attack to defeat Mercer 11-7 Wednesday at McKethan Stadium. With the win, Florida improves to 3-0 overall while Mercer drops to 3-3.

Klebonis led the Gators at the plate as he finished 3-5 with four RBI, a double and his first career home run. His home run, a two-RBI blast to left field, coupled with Wes Swackhamer’s RBI groundout gave Florida an 11-5 eighth inning lead. His two-out two-RBI double down the left field line in the third inning gave Florida a 4-0 lead.

UF went up in the first inning when Aaron Davidson led off with a single followed by a Mark Kiger walk and Mario Garza’s fielders choice. Ryan Shealy’s bases loaded RBI walk scored Davidson and Kiger scored on a wild pitch. The Gators scored two more runs in the third inning when Pat Osborn led off with a single and Ryan Shealy was hit by pitch. Both runners advanced on a called balk and scored on Klebonis’ RBI double down the left field line to give UF a 4-0 lead.

Florida (3-0) went up 7-1 with three more runs in the fifth inning. Ben Harrison led off with a single but was called out on Ryan Shealy’s fielders choice, Klebonis followed with a single, Brian Rose was hit by pitch and Aaron Davidson followed with a RBI infield single. Mark Kiger drove in two more runs with a single to right field.

Three Gators, along with Klebonis finished with three hits apiece including Aaron Davidson (3-5), Pat Osborn (3-5, three runs), Ben Harrison (3-5 with run scored).

Gator freshman Mike Pete (1-0) earned the victory on the mound after allowing no hits and no runs in 3.0 innings. The game was his first collegiate start. Pitcher Aaron Sobieraj saw his first mound action since his freshman season. Reliever Kevin Coleman (1.2 IP, three strikeouts) struck out two consecutive batters to end a three-run Mercer rally.

Mercer starter James Morrison (0-2) took the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and allowing five hits and four runs (two earned). He struck out five.

Kyle Levengood led Mercer at the plate with a 4-5, three RBI performance while Patrick Murphy finished with two hits. The Bears finished with 11 hits and drove in five RBI.

Florida travels to Miami for a three-game weekend series. Game times are 7 p.m. on Friday, 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Friday’s and Sunday’s games will be televised live on Fox Sports Net-Florida but cannot be accessed through Gainesville’s Cox Cable.

--UF--

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