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Friday February 8, 2002Baseball Rallies to Defeat Miami 12-9

Coral Gables, FL

No. 21/23 Florida held off a late rally and erased a one-run deficit with a six-run seventh inning to defeat No. 3/2/7 Miami 12-9 Friday at Mark Light Stadium. For the first time since 1994, Florida begins its season with a 4-0 record. Miami drops to 2-3.

With its win, Florida broke Miamiís four-game win streak in the series and snapped UMís 13-game win streak in games at Mark Light Stadium.

Florida took a 9-4 lead as it battled back from a 4-3 deficit with six runs in the top of the seventh. With no outs, the Gators loaded the bases on a walk to Aaron Davidson, a Mark Kiger single and an error on Mario Garzaís sacrifice bunt. Pat Osbornís RBI single drove home Davidson from third and Ben Harrison provided the go-ahead run (6-4) when he drove home both Kiger and Garza on a line drive single to left center field. Osborn and Harrison scored on David Klebonisí single which bounced over the head of UM third baseman Kevin Howard. Ryan Shealy scored the sixth run on a passed ball.

The Gators added three important insurance runs on Ryan Shealyís RBI single (eighth inning) and Pat Osbornís two-RBI single (ninth inning) to make it 12-4.

But Miami was not finished. Trailing 12-4, Miami scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth on Danny Matienzoís RBI double and Kevin Mannixís three-RBI home run to left field. Following Ben Harrisonís catch of foul ball as the inningís second out and Jim Burt drove in the fifth run on a RBI double, Florida reliever Kevin Coleman struck out Paco Figueroa to end the game.

"Iím pleased with our teamís effort tonight," Florida coach Pat McMahon said. "We made several mistakes and have a lot of work to do in so many areas but weíve had outstanding team effort to start the season."

Florida reliever and Miami native Scot Drucker (1-0) earned the victory after blanking Miami over three innings (sixth-eighth). Drucker allowed four hits on four runs in his three innings pitched. He relieved starter Keith Ramsey in the sixth inning with one out and the bases loaded but struck out Joey Hooft and ended the inning on Javy Rodriguezís fielders choice.

In his second career start, Gator starter Keith Ramsey pitched a career-high 5.1 innings. He struck out three batters and allowed five hits, four runs (two earned runs).

Miami reliever Vince Vasquez (0-1) took the loss.

Pat Osborn led the Gators with a 3-6, four RBI peformance at the plate while Aaron Davidson went 3-5 with three runs, Ben Harrison finished 2-5 with two RBI and Ryan Shealy finished 2-4 with a RBI. Haas Pratt and Jim Burt each collected two hits for Miami.

Miami took a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning as it took advantage of a dropped fly ball. Ramsey retired the first two batters on groundouts before Matt Dryer launched a shot into deep right field. The ball bounced out of Ben Harrisonís glove and Dryer advanced to second base. The next batter, Haas Pratt, drove Dryer home from second on a double to right field. Pratt scored on Jim Burtís RBI single to right field for a 4-2 advantage.

Florida went up 1-0 in the first when Aaron Davidson led off with a double to right center, advanced to third on Mark Kigerís sacrifice bunt and scored on Pat Osbornís RBI groundout. Miami grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second on Haas Prattís two-run home run to left field. The Gators tied at 2-2 when Mario Garza launched a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left field. The hit was his first career home run.

Miami and Florida meet for game two Saturday at 7 p.m. RHP Alex Hart (1-0) will start for Florida while Kiki Bengochea (0-1) will start for the Hurricanes. Game three is Sunday at 1 p.m. Sundayís game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net-Florida. The game cannot be accessed in Gainesville due to Cox Cable.

GAME NOTES

*Florida broke Miamiís 13-game winning streak in the series games at Mark Light Stadium.

*Florida snapped Miamiís four-game win streak in the series.

*Miami native Scot Drucker earned his first victory of the season, third of his career.

*Junior Mario Garza hit his first career home run at Florida.

*Florida is now 81-107-1 against Miami.

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