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Tuesday March 19, 2002No. 6 Baseball Wins 8th Straight, 15-3 Over UMass

Gainesville, FL

No. 6 Florida extended its win streak to eight games with a 15-3 victory Tuesday against Massachusetts at McKethan Stadium. The Gators improve to 19-3 overall (3-0 SEC) while Massachusetts drops to 5-5.

Florida concludes a 10-game homestand tomorrow against Dartmouth at 6:30 p.m. The Gators travel No. 5/5/4 South Carolina for a three-game SEC series in Columbia.

Florida went up 4-0 in the first inning. Mark Kiger led off with a walk followed by Aaron Sobieraj’s single and Ryan Shealy’s single to load the bases. Pat Osborn drove in a run when he was hit by pitch and Sobieraj scored on a wild pitch. A two-base throwing error scored Shealy and Osborn for the Gators’ 4-0 lead. The Gators added a run in the third when David Klebonis tripled and scored on a throwing error.

Florida grabbed a 11-1 lead in the fifth inning with six runs. Ben Harrison led off with a walk followed by Jonathan Tucker’s bunt single and Brian Rose’s single to left field scored both runs. Following Mark Kiger’s walk, a wild pitch, Aaron Sobieraj drove Rose home on a ground out and Ryan Shealy walked. Pat Osborn followed with his eight home run of the year, a three-run shot to left field.

Gator starting pitcher Matt Foster (1-0) registered his first win at UF going 5.0 innings and allowing three hits, one run. He struck out four batters in 67 pitches. It was his first start at UF.

UMass pitchers walked nine Gator batters and gave up 11 hits. Starter Scott Ratliff (1-1) took the loss in throwing 4.0 innings and allowing six walks, six hits and eight runs (five earned).

GAME NOTES

*Florida improved to 10-0 all-time vs. UMass. The 15 runs were the most ever scored against UMass in the series. The 12-run victory margin was also the largest ever in the series.

*Ryan Shealy extended his hit streak to a career-high and team season-high 19 straight games. He also went on a 19-game hit streak last year.

*Brian Rose was hit by pitch for the 25th time in his career. He now ranks tied for second on UF’s all-time career hit by pitch list. David Eckstein (1994-97) holds the career record with 41.

*Mark Kiger walked a career-high four times this evening.

*Mario Garza’s pinch hit home run was the first of its kind since Ryan Raburn’s pinch hit home run vs. Miami on Feb. 13, 2000.

*Florida has scored at least 10+ runs in seven of its last eight games.

*Florida scored 10+ runs for the 17th time in 22 games and registered 10+ hits for the 19th time in 22 games.

*Florida hit two home runs on the evening and has already surpassed its 2001 season total for home runs with 51. The Gators hit 49 last season.

--UF--

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