Tuesday May 7, 2002Passed Ball Gives Baseball 10-9 Win Over USF
Pat Osborn hit his 12th home run of the year in the first inning.
Aaron Sobieraj scored on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help No. 8/8/10 Florida win a 10-9 decision against South Florida Tuesday at McKethan Stadium. The win improved Florida to 36-13 overall while South Florida fell to 27-22 overall.
With two outs and Florida’s Aaron Sobieraj standing at third base, Joey Livingston’s pitch bounced off USF catcher Allen Shirley’s glove allowing Sobieraj to score standing up. Sobieraj led off the inning with a walk. He advanced to second on Ben Harrison’s sacrifice bunt then went to third on Brian Rose’s fly ball to deep center field.
Florida trailed two times in the contest- 7-3 in the sixth and 9-7 in the seventh but battled back both times to tie. The game was Florida’s last non-conference game. Six games remain including three this weekend against LSU and three at Kentucky May 17-19 before the SEC Tournament in Birmingham.
"I thought that was an exciting game," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "We were down 7-3, made a good run and tied the game. To their credit, they battled and took the lead but our guys just wouldn’t let it get away. I thought we showed great determination in every way tonight. We found a way to get it done."
The game featured 10 pitching changes, 27 hits and 19 runners left on base.
Florida went up 3-0 in the first inning when Pat Osborn hit his 12th home run of the year, a two-run shot. Matt Goss reached base on a double down the right field line and Osborn cranked a 2-2 pitch over the fence in right field for an opposite field homer. Ryan Shealy and Aaron Sobieraj followed with singles and Jeff Corsaletti bounced a shot down the right field line for a RBI double.
South Florida battled back to tie the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning. Scott Rachlin reached base on a single, advanced to second on a balk and scored on Ronnie Handley’s RBI single. Allen Shirley’s double down the left field line scored Handley and Mike Cunningham followed with a RBI single for the third run.
South Florida broke the 3-3 tie with a three-run fifth. Mike Macaluso led off with a walk and scored on Jeff Baisley’s two-RBI homer to left field. After two outs, Scott Rachlin doubled, advanced to third on Ronnie Handley’s single and scored on Allen Shirley’s RBI single. The Bulls went up 7-3 in the fifth frame as they manufactured a run when Myron Leslie walked, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error on the steal. He scored on Jeff Baisley’s RBI ground out.
But the Gators rallied back from its 7-3 deficit to tie the game at 7-7 in the sixth inning. With one out, Brian Rose doubled and Aaron Davidson drew a walk. Mark Kiger drove Rose home when he laced a single to right field after an eight-pitch at bat. Matt Goss followed with a RBI double and Pat Osborn singled. Ryan Shealy’s sacrifice fly tied the game at 7-7 when Goss tagged and scored from third.
Ronnie Handley gave South Florida a 9-7 seventh inning lead when he pulled 1-2 pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homer. Leadoff hitter Devin Ivany reached base on an error to set up the homer.
Florida rallied back to tie again at 9-9 with two runs in the seventh. Two consecutive doubles by Brian Rose and Aaron Davidson set up Mark Kiger’s RBI single. A wild pitch scored Davidson from third to tie the game at 9-9. That set up UF’s winning run in the eighth inning.
Florida is back in action this weekend as it hosts No. 21/20/25 LSU (33-16, 14-9 SEC). Game times are 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Friday’s game will be broadcast live on Sunshine Network with Mick Hubert and Nick Belmonte making the call.
*Florida has now won four straight games and 10 of its last 11 games.
*Florida has now won more games (36 in 49 games) than it did in 2001 (35 in 62 games).
*Pat Osborn is now on a 17-game hit streak.
*Florida hit its first homer in four games on Pat Osborn’s homer in the first inning. Osborn’s homer to right field in the first inning was Florida’s 20th opposite field homer of the year.
*Connor Falkenbach made his first collegiate pitching start this evening.
*Florida registered its 36th 10+ hit game of the year. The 36 double digit hit games ranks sixth all-time among 10+ hit games in a season. The school record is 48 in 2000.
*Florida has now scored 10+ runs in 23 times this season. That total ranks tied for second among seasons scoring 10+ runs. The record is 28 times scoring 10+ runs in 1998.