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Saturday April 13, 2002Baseball Tops Tennessee 8-5 in 10 Innings

Knoxville, Tenn.

David Klebonis’ two-RBI double in the 10th inning broke a 5-5 tie and gave Florida an 8-5 victory against Tennessee before 2,555 fans Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Florida (8-6 SEC, 26-11 overall) has won the first two games of the three-game series. A win Sunday would give Florida its second SEC sweep of the year and first against Tennessee since it won three straight during the 1992 season in Knoxville.

The victory, coupled with Georgia’s 14-4 loss at LSU, moved Florida into a second place tie in the SEC Eastern Division with the Bulldogs at 8-6. South Carolina is now in first place with an 8-5 record after defeating Vanderbilt 10-1 this afternoon. Tennessee drops to 4-10 in the SEC and 17-20 overall.

With runners at third and first base, Klebonis drilled a 1-2 pitch past the third baseman and down the left field foul line for his game winning hit. Aaron Sobieraj scored from first base and Ryan Shealy scored all the way from first to give UF a 7-5 commanding lead. Sobieraj led off the inning and reached second on a throwing error. He advanced to third on Mark Kiger’s ground ball. Shealy was then intentionally walked to set up Klebonis’ double. A right handed batter and .421 (8-19) career pinch hitter, Klebonis was inserted in the lineup as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. Klebonis later scored on Brian Rose’s RBI single which give UF a 8-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Florida reliever Kevin Coleman (1-2) set Tennessee down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth for his second career victory. Coleman pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth as he ended a Tennessee threat with two ground balls. He went the final 1.2 innings, allowed no hits, no runs and walked one batter.

Florida took the lead at 5-4 in the seventh inning when Jake Riordan drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Aaron Sobieraj’s RBI single over the shortstop’s head.

But Tennessee sent the game into extra innings and tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning when Walter Sevilla led off with a single, advanced to second base on Brandon Hopkins’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Ryan Moffett’s RBI single to right field. UF reliever Jamie Goldfarb was then replaced by Kevin Coleman. With Moffett at second base, pinch hitter Hunter Rigsby hit a grounder back at Coleman who threw to UF third baseman Pat Osborn. Osborn dove to tag Moffett attempting to advance to third. With runners at first and second, Coleman got Matt Sternberg to ground out to end the inning.

Tennessee rallied from a 2-1 deficit to take a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fifth. Jordan Czarniecki hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game at 2-2. After back-to-back singles by Nick Crowe and Walter Sevilla, Alex Hart threw a wild pitch which rolled to the backstop. As UF catcher Brian Rose searched for the ball behind the plate, Crowe touched third and advanced toward home. Crowe slid under Alex Hart’s tag for UT’s third run.and Sevilla advanced to third. Sevilla scored a play later on another wild pitch.

Florida battled back to the tie the game at 4-4 on Mario Garza’s two run homer, his ninth of the year. Ryan Shealy gave Florida a 2-0 fourth inning lead when he blasted 1-0 pitch over the fence in straightaway center field for a two run home run. Mark Kiger scored on the home run after he reached base on a single off UF pitcher Patrick Hicklen. Shealy’s shot traveled 420-feet and was Shealy’s 15th of the year and 31st of his career. He moved into a tie for sixth place on UF’s all-time career home run chart.

Tennessee’s Ryan Moffett answered with a solo home run to left field in the fourth inning.

Florida starter Alex Hart was relieved in the middle of the sixth inning with two runners on base. He pitched 5.1 innings but gave up eight hits, four runs, walked three but struck out six batters. Reliever Jamie Goldfarb pitched a career-high tying 3.0 innings before Coleman entered the contest.

Tennessee was forced to use Sunday’s scheduled starter Jeffery Terrell (2-6) when relief pitcher Joey Andrews came on in relief of starter Patrick Hicklen but injured himself while warming up. Terrell took the loss after throwing 3.1 innings of relief. He allowed three hits and three runs (one earned).

Game three of the three-game series is Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

GAME NOTES

*Florida now has a three-game winning streak in its series against Tennessee.

*David Klebonis drove in the game winning RBI on a 10th inning double down the left field line which drove in two runs. The game winning RBI was his second of his career/season.

*Reliever Kevin Coleman earned his second career victory. He is now 1-2 on the year.

*Alex Hart’s 5.1-inning outing was his shortest start of the season. Prior to Saturday, his shortest outing was 6.0-innings four times. Hart had lasted at least 7.1 innings in each of his first four SEC starts.

*Florida stole its first base in its last six games. Florida has stolen just three bases in its last 18 games.

*Ryan Shealy hit his 15th home run on the season and his 31st career homer. He now moves into a tie for sixth place on UF’s all-time career home run list. The school record is 55 career home runs held by Brad Wilkerson (1996-98). Mario Linares (1988-91) and Mark Ellis (1996-99) both are tied for second place on the list.

*Jamie Goldfarb tied a career-high with 3.0 innings pitched in relief today.

*Florida’s victory was its fifth come-from-behind victory this season. Florida also improves to 4-8 on the year when trailing after six innings.

*The game was Florida’s first extra inning game of the year.

*Florida has now registered 10+ hits in 29 of its 37 games played.

--UF--

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