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Sunday April 14, 2002Tennessee Hands Baseball 6-5 Loss

Knoxville, Tenn.

Tennessee used a four-run fifth to take a 6-3 lead and held off a ninth inning bases loaded rally to defeat No. 11 Florida 6-5 Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The loss drops Florida to 26-12 overall and 8-7 in the SEC while Tennessee improves to 18-20 overall and 5-10 in the SEC.

With Tennessee holding a 6-5 lead, Florida loaded the bases in top of the ninth when pinch hitter Jeff Corsaletti led off with a single to left field. Aaron Sobieraj followed with a single and Mark Kiger reached base on a fielders choice. Ryan Shealy drove home Corsaletti from second base on a double to left field. That put runners at second and third base with one out and intentionally walked David Klebonis to load the bases. UT pitcher Joey Andrews got the second out of the inning when he struck out Pat Osborn on four pitches. Andrews was then replaced by lefthanded reliever Jeffery Terrell and Terrell got pinch hitter Joe Mercandante to pop up to end the game.

Tennessee battled back from a 3-2 deficit with four runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead. Dennis Gomez led off the inning with a single but was thrown out at second on Chad LeGate’s fielders choice. Nick Crowe drove a double over left fielder Aaron Sobieraj’s head which scored LeGate from first base. Crowe scored on Jordan Czarniecki’s sacrifice bunt RBI. An error on Walter Sevilla’s ground ball put Czarniecki at third base. On the next play, Czarniecki scored from third when he avoided Brian Rose’s tag on Ryan Moffett’s ground ball to third base. Hal Bibee drove in the fourth run on a RBI single to left field.

The Gators cut the deficit to 6-4 in the seventh when Ryan Shealy drew a walk and scored from first on David Klebonis’ RBI double down the left field line.

Tennessee starter Dusty Johnson (2-0) earned the win. He was the pitcher of record when the Vols took the lead in the fifth inning. Johnson pitched 5.0 innings and allowed nine hits and three runs (two earned). He also struck out four batters. Reliever Joey Andrews went 3.0 innings, allowing two hits and two runs and Terrell finished off the ninth for his fourth save of the year.

Florida starter Keith Ramsey (4-2) earned the loss after throwing 4.1 innings. He allowed seven hits and five earned runs after throwing 69 pitches.

Florida grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Pat Osborn’s RBI infield single. But Tennessee rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the second on consecutive singles by Hal Bibee and Brandon Hopkins. Matt Sternberg drove Bibee home on a RBI single to left field and Dennis Gomez drove Hopkins home on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Florida’s David Klebonis tied it up 2-2 when he drilled his second career homer over the left field fence. Brian Rose gave Florida a 3-2 lead on a solo home run to left field in the fourth.

The Gators stranded 10 runners on base and outhit Tennessee 15-10. David Klebonis led UF with a career-high three hits in a 3-4, two RBI, home run day. Ryan Shealy, Aaron Sobieraj and Jake Riordan each collected two hits apiece.

Florida is back in action Wednesday against Bethune-Cookman. Game time is at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.

GAME NOTES

*Brian Rose hit his first home run in 34 at bats, 39 plate appearances and 11 games played.

*David Klebonis tied a career-high with three hits. He hit his first home run in 22 games, 49 at bats and 60 plate appearances.

*Freshman Tommy Boss pitched a career-high 2.1 innings in the game.

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