Saturday March 16, 2002No. 6 Baseball Holds Off No. 10 Ole Miss 7-6
Alex Hart threw a career-high 8.1 innings and Aaron Sobieraj drove in four runs to lead No. 6 Florida to a 7-6 victory against No. 10 Ole Miss before a season-high 4,683 crowd Saturday at McKethan Stadium. With the win, Florida improves to 2-0 in the SEC and 17-3 overall while Ole Miss falls to 0-2 in the SEC and 13-5 overall. A win Sunday would give Florida its first sweep over Ole Miss since the 1996 season. Sundayís game is at noon and will be televised live on Sunshine Network.
Hart (6-0) threw a career-high 8.1 innings. He threw 112 pitches and allowed nine hits, five runs (five earned) and struck out three batters. Hart was replaced in the bottom of the ninth inning by Jamie Goldfarb. Kevin Coleman earned his second save of the season when he registered the final out.
Trailing 7-3 upon entering the top of the ninth inning, Ole Miss rallied for three runs. Hart was replaced with runners at first and second and following a foul out, walk to Matt Tolbert and Charlie Waite (loop single). Gator reliever Jamie Goldfarb gave up a single to Jonathan Swearingen to load the bases, a RBI single to Burney Hutchinson, a walk to Seth Smith which loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Dustin Cliburn drove home on a sacrifice fly. Kevin Coleman ended the game on a Chad Sterbens ground out.
Sobieraj gave Florida a 3-0 third inning lead when he drove a pitch to the fence in left center field for a three-RBI triple. Matt Goss drove in a run on a ground out to make it 4-0 Florida. Ole Miss battled back to a 4-2 deficit in the fourth on Burney Hutchinsonís solo home run and Drew Rogersí RBI single to right field.
The Gators went up 6-2 in the fifth taking advantage of two Ole Miss errors and scoring runs on Sobierajís sacrifice fly and Mark Kiger scored on a failed pickoff attempt. UF added an insurance run in the seventh when it loaded the bases on a walk to Matt Goss, Ryan Shealy double and Pat Osborn walk. Jeff Corsalettiís pinch hit walk gave UF its 7-3 lead.
"It was two clubs battling their hearts out today," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "Alex Hart left it all on the field. When we made the decision to take Alex out, I felt the standing ovation was much deserved. That was great. It was also a great crowd today."
Ole Miss starter J.R. Pickens (3-1) took the loss after pitching 6.2 innings and allowing eight hits, seven runs (four earned). He also struck out four batters.
The Gators were led by Sobierajís four RBI performance at the plate. He went 1-3 while Mario Garza and Ryan Shealy each collected two hits apiece. Ole Miss was led by Burney Hutchinson and Chad Sterbens who both collected two hits apiece.
*With its two wins- 24-5 on Friday and 7-6 on Saturday, Florida is looking for its first baseball sweep against Ole Miss since the 1996 season when the Gators won three straight in Gainesville.
*The gameís attendance of 4,638 was a season-high and the most since UF registered 5,613 vs. Florida State on Feb. 19, 2000.
*Florida improves to 34-28 all-time vs. Ole Miss including a 20-6 mark in games played in Gainesville. The Gators entered the series after having lost 10 of the last 11 against Ole Miss.
*Alex Hart pitched a career-high 8.1 innings today. His former career-high was a 7.0 inning outing vs. Winthrop on 2/17/02. He has now gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his six starts on the season and has a 6-0 record with a 1.60 ERA.
*Ryan Shealy extended his hit streak to 17 games. Matt Gossí hit streak ended at 13 games.