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Wednesday February 27, 2002No. 6 Baseball Rolls to 31-3 Win Over Siena

Gainesville, FL

No. 6 Florida set school records for most hits (31) and at bats (53) in a game as it registered a 31-3 baseball victory against Siena Wednesday at McKethan Stadium. With the win, Florida ties a school record for best start to a season its 11-0 record. The Gators also started off 11-0 in 1989. Siena drops to 0-6 on the season.

Junior catcher Mario Garza set a new SEC and school record with seven runs scored in the game while Aaron Sobieraj registered a school-record tying five hits. The 28-run loss was Siena’s worst in program history surpassing a 25-run setback in 1994.

Of Florida’s 31 hits, the Gators finished the game with two home runs, five doubles and 24 singles. UF walked only six times. Thirteen Florida batters registered hits in the game as UF scored runs in all but the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Gators built a 26-2 lead with a 15-run fifth inning. UF batted around twice in the inning which included 10 hits and three Siena errors. Mark Kiger blasted a grand slam to left center field and Joe Mercandante provided three RBI on his second homer of the season.

Siena took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a Jim Buckley single and a wild pitch. But the Gators battled back with two runs of their own on three straight singles by Mark Kiger, Mario Garza and Aaron Sobieraj (bunt) and two sacrifice flies from Ryan Shealy and Matt Goss. The Gators went up for good with a run in the second on Jeff Corsaletti’s fielders’ choice. Florida scored seven runs in the fourth taking advantage of seven hits.

Sobieraj led the Gator charge at the plate with a school record tying five hit performance. He went 5-5 with four runs and a RBI. Garza finished 3-5 with his SEC record seven runs, two walks and one RBI and Kiger went 4-5 with five RBI and four runs scored.

Seven Gator pitchers saw action in the contest. Florida reliever Dave Bartelt (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory after pitching 3.0 innings and allowing just two hits. Siena starter Josh Copskey (0-2) gave up 11 runs (seven earned) and 13 hits for the loss.

Florida is next in action this weekend for a three-game series against Florida State. Friday’s (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday’s (3 p.m.) games are in Gainesville while Sunday’s contest (2 p.m.) will be played in Tallahassee.

GAME NOTES

*Florida set team school game records for most hits (31) and most at bats (53). The former records were set in this season’s opener against Charleston Southern (29 hits/52 at bats).

*Junior Mario Garza scored a SEC and Florida school record seven runs tonight. He broke Brian Reimsnyder’s school record of six runs scored vs. Alabama on March 19, 1989.

*Aaron Sobieraj tied a school game record with five hits today. He has now tied his career high (5 hits) three times.

*Florida’s margin of victory was 28 runs. The 28-run victory was the largest losing margin for a baseball game played by Siena. The former record was a 25-run loss in 1994.

*Florida’s 28-run victory was the third largest in school history trailing a 34-run win vs. Savannah State (35-1) in 2001 and a 31-run win over Georgia State (31-0) in 1996.

*Florida scored the most ever runs against Siena in series history.

*Aaron Davidson improved his hit streak to a team-leading 11 games.

*Florida reliever Dave Bartelt earned his first collegiate victory Wednesday.

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