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Sunday May 19, 2002Home Run Gives Baseball 5-4 Win Over Kentucky

Lexington, Ky.

Mark Kiger’s three-run home run in the ninth inning led No. 11/12/14 Florida a 5-4 victory over Kentucky Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Gators entered the ninth inning trailing 4-0. Florida improves to 40-15 overall and 20-10 in the SEC while Kentucky drops to 17-36 overall and 6-24 in the SEC.

Florida will enter the SEC Tournament as the No. 3 seed. Florida will play at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday in the SEC Tournament against the No. 6 seed. Depending on today’s results, the No. 6 seed will more than likely be Georgia.

Trailing 4-0 heading into the top of the ninth inning, Florida’s Matt Goss led off the inning with a single down the right field line. Ryan Shealy followed with his 21st homer of the year to straightaway centerfield. That pulled UF to within a 4-2 deficit. Mario Garza followed with a ground out and Ben Harrison laced a double off the left field fence. After Brian Rose flew out for the second out of the inning, pinch hitter Jeff Corsaletti drew a walk. With two out and runners at first and second base, Mark Kiger drilled a 2-1 pitch over the scoreboard in right field for his 10th homer of the season and 5-4 Gator lead.

The home run was Kiger’s 10th of the year and 20th of his career. The game winning RBI was the sixth of the season and 14th of his career.

Kentucky starter Joseph Blanton held the Gators scoreless through the first eight innings. Blanton (5-7) suffered the loss after allowing nine hits, five runs and walking four batters. He struck out 13 Gators.

Florida’s Kevin Coleman (2-2) earned the win after throwing the final 1.1 innings.

Kentucky grabbed an early lead as it went up 1-0 in the first inning. Brad Pickrell led off with a walk, advanced to second on Caleb Stewart’s sacrifice bunt, went to third on Gordon Tyler’s single and scored on Seth Morris’ RBI single. The Wildcats made it 2-0 on Gordon Tyler’s solo home run in the third inning. Kentucky went up 3-0 on Russ Rutherford’s solo homer to left field in the fifth inning.

The Wildcats took a 4-0 lead with a run in the sixth inning on an infield single by Mike Ferris. Seth Morris led off with a double to left field as UF left fielder Aaron Sobieraj lost in the sun. Morris advanced to third on a ground ball to second base then scored on Mike Ferris’ RBI infield single.

Florida starter Mike Pete threw the first four innings and allowed three hits, two runs and struck out two batters. Reliever Tommy Boss entered the game in the middle of the sixth inning and pitched one full inning. Jamie Goldfarb pitched 2.2 innings and allowed three hits and struck out four batters.

GAME NOTES

*Freshman Mike Pete started his first SEC game Sunday.

*Pat Osborn’s hit streak ended today at 23 games.

*Mark Kiger’s hit streak extended to 16 games.

*With its win, Florida has now won 40+ games for the 14th season in the 88-year history of the program.

*With its win, Florida won 40+ regular season games for the seventh time in school history. The six other seasons that UF recorded 40+ regular season wins include 41 wins in 1984, 1991, 1996 and 1998 and 40 wins in both 1992 and 1984.

*Florida has now won 14 of its last 17 games including 12 of its last 15 SEC games.

*Florida has now won 10 of its last 11 games against Kentucky. UF has also defeated Kentucky seven consecutive games.

*Florida finished with a 20-10 SEC record. Georgia won the SEC with a 20-10 record last year.

*Florida completed its fourth SEC sweep of the year. Florida has swept Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt this year.

--UF--

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