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Friday March 1, 2002Ninth Inning Single Lifts FSU Over Baseball 5-4

Gainesville, FL

Nick Rogers’ ninth inning RBI single broke a 4-4 tie and lifted No. 1 Florida State to a 5-4 victory against No. 6 Florida Friday before 4,246 at McKethan Stadium. The loss drops Florida to 11-1 on the season while Florida State improves to 16-4 overall.

Game two of the three-game weekend series begins Saturday at 3 p.m. at McKethan Stadium. Game three is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee.

The loss ends Florida’s win streak at 11 games and the Gators’ home win streak at nine games. The 11-0 start ties a school record for best start to a season. UF was also 11-0 in 1989.

With the score tied at 4-4 and one out in the top of the ninth, Rogers’s single to centerfield scored Bryan Zech from second base. Zech advanced to second on a Mike Futrell groundout. Florida threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth when Brian Rose reached base on a one-out single. Pinch runner Jonathan Tucker was caught stealing second but Jake Riordan reached base on a walk and stole second. FSU reliever Eric Roman earned his seventh save of the year when Mark Kiger flew out to end the game.

FSU reliever Kevin Lynch (1-0) earned the win after throwing 2/3 innings. He ended a Gator scoring threat in the bottom of the eighth when he got Aaron Davidson to ground out with the bases loaded.

Florida stranded 15 runners on base including three each in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings. The Gators outhit the Seminoles 11-9. The two teams also combined for seven errors on the evening.

"We battled our hearts out but we just couldn’t come up with a big hit," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "We just left too many runners on base. Jimmy Ramshaw really competed and battled tonight and Jamie Goldfarb also did a good job."

Goldfarb (0-1) suffered his first loss. He pitched 2.2 innings and allowed five hits and one run. Ramshaw allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings pitched. He struck out five batters and gave up four hits and four walks.

The Gators grabbed a 2-0 lead, scoring runs in the first and second innings taking advantage of a throwing error and Ben Harrison sacrifice bunt RBI respectively. Florida State battled back to tie the game at 2-2 with two runs in the fourth on Tony Richie’s two-RBI double down the left field line. The Seminoles made it 3-2 in the fifth on a Ryan Barthelemy RBI groundout but the Gators battled back to tie the game again at 3-3 on an Aaron Davidson single. After FSU grabbed a 4-3 seventh inning lead when Zech scored on a Gator throwing error, Florida tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth on Mario Garza’s single to right field.

Three Gators finished with two hits apiece including Mario Garza, Aaron Sobieraj and Aaron Davidson.

GAME NOTES

*Florida’s 11-0 start ties for the best start ever to a Gator baseball season. UF was also 11-0 in 1989.

*Florida’s win streak ended at 11 games. The 11-game win streak ties for the sixth longest win streak in UF baseball history.

*Aaron Davidson extended his hit streak to 12 consecutive games. He also stole two bases.

*Ryan Shealy is now on a nine-game hit streak.

*Florida registered 10+ hits for the 11th time in 12 games this season.

*The crowd of 4,246 was Florida’s largest of the season.

--UF--

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