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Saturday April 27, 2002Baseball Wins Second Straight Over Georgia 12-9

Gainesville, FL

Alex Hart won his 10th game and the Gator offense registered two big-run innings as No. 12/12/11 Florida won its sixth consecutive game, a 12-9 victory Saturday against Georgia at McKethan Stadium. Florida (13-7 SEC, 32-12 overall) now has an opportunity to sweep Georgia for the first time since the 2000 season. Florida has also defeated Georgia 10 consecutive times in Gainesville.

Georgia drops to 11-9 in the SEC and 24-17 overall. Game three of the three-game weekend series is Sunday at 1 p.m.

Florida used a five-run first (after trailing 3-0) and a six-run fifth to win the contest. The Gator offense finished with 13 hits and 12 runs as four Gators finished with multi-hit days. Matt Goss provided the game winning RBI, a three-run homer in the first inning and led UF at the plate in his 2-5, five RBI, two run, home run and triple performance. Ryan Shealy connected on his SEC-leading 19th homer of the year and drove in two RBI and Mark Kiger, Jeff Corsaletti and Jonathan Tucker each contributed two hits a piece for Florida.

Gator starter Alex Hart won his 10th game this season after pitching 6.0 innings and allowing just two hits and three runs (two earned runs). He threw 101 pitched and walked just three batters and struck out two. Mike Pete pitched the middle 2.2 innings and David Bartelt registered the final out for the first save of his career. The Gator bullpen has now registered a save in each of the last six games.

Florida found itself trailing 3-0 after the top of the first inning as Georgia rallied for three runs. Kris Edge led off the game with a walk. On the next at bat, Edge scored all the way from first base when Darryl Blaze’s sacrifice bunt was fielded by UF pitcher Alex Hart and his throw flew past first baseman Ryan Shealy into right field. The ball slipped past right fielder Jeff Corsaletti scoring Edge and advancing Blaze to second. Chaz Lytle followed with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right field and Georgia led 3-0.

But Florida came right back and grabbed the lead with five runs on a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. With two outs Aaron Sobieraj and Ryan Shealy drew consecutive walks and Jeff Corsaletti drove home Sobieraj on a single to left field. Pat Osborn followed with a bloop single to right field which drove Shealy in from second base. Matt Goss put UF on top when he drilled a first pitch over the scoreboard in right field for a three-run homer and 5-3 lead.

"When we jumped ahead by two, that was huge for us," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "That was such a big key for us. When teams in this league put up some runs, you have to answer with some runs and we did that. To put that five right back up was so important as this game unfolded. Then we got the six-run inning late.

"You’ve really got to credit Alex Hart," McMahon said. "He might tell you that he didn’t have his best stuff but he battled through adversity. The thing that was so pleasing was that he really competed and really battled and took it upon himself to get the job done.

Florida went up 11-3 with a six-run fifth inning. Ryan Shealy put UF up 7-3 with his SEC-leading 19th homer of the year, a shot off the scoreboard in right field. After two walks to Jeff Corsaletti and Pat Osborn, Matt Goss drilled a pitch down the right field line for a two-RBI triple. Jonathan Tucker reached base on a walk and Davidson drove home both Goss and Tucker on a single to center field.

Georgia starter Bill Sharpton (5-4) took the loss.

GAME NOTES

*Florida is on a six-game win streak. The Gators have now won seven of their last eight SEC games and eight of their last nine games.

*Florida has won 10 consecutive games against Georgia at McKethan Stadium.

*David Bartelt’s save was Florida’s sixth consecutive.

*Pat Osborn extended his hit streak to 12 consecutive games with a first inning RBI single.

*Ryan Shealy hit his SEC-leading 19th home run. His 19 home runs rank tied for third on UF’s all-time season list with four other former Gators- Dave Falcone (1981), David Ross (1998) and Tony Socarras (2000). Brad Wilkerson holds the UF season record with 23 home runs set two times in 1997 and 1998. The home run was Shealy’s 35th of his career. Shealy needs one more homer to tie for second place on the list with Mario Linares and Mark Ellis at 36. Wilkerson owns the school record with 55 home runs.

*Alex Hart won his 10th game of the season. Alex Hart has now pitched at least 6.0 innings in 11 of his 12 starts.

--UF--

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