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Saturday February 16, 2002Baseball Rallies to Defeat Winthrop 12-11

Gainesville, FL

Pat Osborn capped a 5-for-5, three-home run performance when he drilled a bases loaded game winning RBI single over the right fielders’ head to give Florida a 12-11 victory over Winthrop Saturday at McKethan Stadium. The No. 18/10/14 Gators improve to 7-0 on the young season while Winthrop drops to 2-1.

Florida overcame an 11-6 deficit as it rallied to a six-run ninth inning for the victory.

With the score tied at 11-11, one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Osborn drilled a 2-2 pitch over the right fielders’ head scoring Matt Goss from third base. Osborn led off the bottom of the ninth with his third solo home run of the day. Ben Harrison’s triple to right center was followed by Ryan Shealy’s RBI single and Aaron Sobieraj’s single. After Shealy advanced to third base on Aaron Davidson’s fly out, Brian Rose was hit by pitch to load the bases. Matt Goss drove in a run with a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch advanced the runners and scored Sobieraj to make the score 11-10. After Mark Kiger was intentionally walked to load the bases, Mario Garza drove in Jake Riordan (pinch runner) on a walk to tie the game at 11-11. Goss advanced to third on the walk and Osborn followed with his single to right field.

"The final hit was a culmination of a lot of guys getting it done," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "It was a bunch of guys taking it on their shoulders to get the job done."

Osborn tied Florida school-records for game home runs (three) and game hits (five). He went a career-high 5-5 with three home runs (first, third and ninth innings) and finished with three runs and a career-high four RBI. A Bakersfield, Calif. native Osborn is hitting .586 (17-29) with six home runs and 18 RBI in seven games. Florida’s Aaron Davidson tied a career-high with two home runs on the day. Davidson finished the day 2-3 with two RBI, two runs and two steals.

Winthrop built a 8-2 third inning lead with a six-run third inning sparked by Bennett Stapf’s two-RBI home run, Ben Thurmond’s RBI single, Brian Haney’s two-RBI double and Carlos de la Rionda’s RBI single. But Florida battled back to its 11-6 deficit with two runs in the third (Mark Kiger RBI groundout, Osborn solo home run) and two in the eighth on back-to-back solo home runs by Davidson and Brian Rose.

The Gators belted a season high tying five home runs (3-Osborn, 2-Davidson, Rose). Each home run was a solo shot.

Florida pitchers yielded 18 hits and 11 runs. Starter Keith Ramsey went 2.2 innings and allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs. David Bartelt pitched three innings and allowed five hits and one run, Scot Drucker went 0.1 inning and junior Jamie Goldfarb (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory after allowing three hits, two runs (two earned) in a career-high 3.0 innings.

Winthrop starter Ben Thurmond struck out nine Gators and allowed eight hits, six runs and four walks in 7.1 innings pitched. The Eagles used a total of six pitchers. Jeremy Plexico (0-1) suffered the loss after yielding two walks and Osborn’s game winning hit.

Florida and Winthrop will play game two of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at McKethan Stadium. The Gators will start junior RHP Alex Hart (2-0) while Winthrop will go with RHP Jeff Reeves (1-0).

GAME NOTES

*Pat Osborn tied UF school records for game home runs (3) and game hits (5). Other players who have hit three home runs in a game at Florida include Brad Wilkerson (vs. Mercer, 1/30/98), Mark Ellis (vs. South Florida, 5/7/97), Greg Catalanotte (vs. Charleston Southern, 2/24/98).

*Pat Osborn finished the day with his sixth home run of the season. He has now hit six home runs in seven games. Last year he hit five home runs in 62 games.

*Osborn also hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive at bats and became the first player since Aaron Davidson (vs. Kentucky, 4/8/01) to hit two home runs in a game.

*Pitcher Jamie Goldfarb earned his first collegiate victory on the mound after throwing 3.0 innings.

*Pitcher David Bartelt saw his first career action on the mound.

*Pat McMahon was ejected in the end of the sixth inning.

*Florida broke a two-game losing streak the series. The Gators are now 5-3 all-time vs. Winthrop.

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