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Friday May 3, 2002Baseball Pulls Out 5-4 Victory Over Miss. State

Starkville, Miss.

Gator head coach Pat McMahon made his return to Starkville as Mark Kiger broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning to give No. 10/11/12 Florida a 5-4 victory against Mississippi State Friday before 6,562 at Dudy Noble Field. The Gators are now 14-8 in the SEC and 33-13 overall while Mississippi State drops to 11-10 in the SEC and 27-17-1 overall. Game two of the three-game series is Saturday at 4 p.m.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning and Ben Harrison at third base, Kiger laced a 1-1 pitch past MSU shortstop Matthew Maniscalco into left field for the game winning RBI. Harrison reached base on an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Kiger finished the evening 2-4 with two runs and his game winning RBI.

Mississippi State threatened in the bottom of the ninth as Matthew Brinson led off with a double to left field. Brinson advanced to third on Steve Gendron’s ground out. After Florida reliever David Bartelt was replaced by Kevin Coleman who got the second out on Jason Burkley’s pop up to second base. On the next play with Gendron at third base, pinch hitter Jon Mungle hit a grounder to UF shortstop Mark Kiger who fielded the ball cleanly but his throw to first went wide. UF first baseman Ryan Shealy caught the ball then dove to tag out Mungle to end the game.

Florida freshman reliever David Bartelt (5-1) earned the victory. He allowed just two hits no walks and struck out a career-high four batters in a career-high 5.2 innings pitched. He relieved starter Jimmy Ramshaw in the third inning. Kevin Coleman registered the final two outs for his fifth save.

Mississippi State starter Paul Maholm (8-2) went the distance but took the loss after allowing 10 hits, five runs (four earned).

Mississippi State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Chad Henry singled and Steve Gendron reached base on an error with two outs. Jason Burkley’s single to left field drove home Henry from third base. The Bulldogs took a 4-0 lead with three runs in the third when it loaded the bases on Steve Gendron’s single, Jason Burkley’s walk and Brent Lewis’ walk. Enrico Jones drove in two runs on a single and Casey Long followed with a RBI single for its 4-0 lead. The rally chased UF starter Jimmy Ramshaw.

But Florida battled back. The Gators scored two runs in the fourth when Mark Kiger led off with a single up the middle and scored from first on Aaron Sobieraj’s double down the left field line. After Sobieraj advanced to third on Ryan Shealy’s fly ball to right, David Klebonis’ single up the middle drove him home for UF’s second run. The Gators then loaded the bases on Pat Osborn’s single, a wild pitch and a walk to Matt Goss. Brian Rose’s fielders choice ground ball RBI gave UF its third run of the inning.

The Gators tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth on David Klebonis’ RBI single. Mark Kiger and Aaron Sobieraj reached base on consecutive walks and Klebonis drove Kiger home from second on his liner to left field. That set up Florida’s ninth inning.

Florida committed four errors on the evening as Mississippi State stranded 11 runners.

GAME NOTES

*Florida head coach Pat McMahon made his first return trip to Starkville, Miss. McMahon spent 14 years of his coaching career in Starkville as a graduate assistant (1980), assistant coach (1983-89), associate head coach (1995-97) and head coach (1998-2001).

*Florida assistant coach John Cohen played at Mississippi State from 1987-90.

*Jimmy Ramshaw’s 2.2 inning start was the shortest of his season and third shortest in his 27-start career. For the season, Ramshaw has pitched at least 5.0+ innings in eight of his 11 starts on the season.

*Florida has now won seven of its last eight games including eight of its last 10 SEC games.

*Florida now leads its series with Mississippi State 36-32.

--UF--

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