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Wednesday March 5, 2003Baseball Wins Ninth Straight 9-5 Over Gardner-Webb

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida baseball team scored in five different innings and used three RBI from Stephen Barton to earn its ninth straight victory 9-5 over Gardner-Webb on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium. Seven different pitchers took the mound for Florida and combined to give up 10 hits and strike out 11 while walking just two.

Bryan Ball earned his first win as a collegiate player as he pitched the second inning and got two ground outs and a fly out while throwing just 10 pitches.

After Gardner-Webb scored two in the top of the first, the Gators responded with two of their own. Brett Dowdy led off the first with a double to center, and promptly moved to third on a sacrifice. After a Mario Garza walk, Bulldogs pitcher Josh Martin threw two wild pitches that scored Dowdy and advanced Garza to third. A sacrifice fly by Ben Harrison scored Garza to tie the game.

Barton then pulled a three-run homer down the right field line in the second which put the Gators on top 5-2 for the first time. Jeff Corsaletti and Brian Rose scored on the Barton homerun after Corsaletti singled to center and Rose was hit by a pitch.

The Bulldogs closed in on the Gator lead in the third by scoring a run after Sam Bradford hit a triple to left center. Bradford scored when Ryan Quirello singled to left field to bring the game within two.

The fourth inning brought two more runs for the Gators. Rose walked and advanced to third on a Justin Tordi double down the left field line. Back-to-back singles by Brett Dowdy and Jonathan Tucker scored Rose and Tordi, giving the Gators a 7-3 lead.

UF tacked on single runs in the fifth and seventh to preserve their lead. Rose hit a solo homer in the fifth and Corsaletti hit an RBI single in the seventh for a Gators 9-3 advantage.

The Bulldogs cut into the lead in the eighth when Quirello hit a two-run shot over the left field bleachers. Relief pitcher Lee Roberson then got the final two batters in the eighth to end any further damage in the inning.

At the plate for Florida Dowdy was 3-for-5 and Tucker and Corsaletti both added a pair of hits. Quirello had a pair of hits and three RBI for the Bulldogs. Josh Martin took the loss on the mound as he threw the first two innings and gave up three hits and five runs while walking one and striking out one.

The Gators head to Tallahassee to play Florida State in their first away games of the season on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Florida returns to McKethan Stadium to finish the three-game series against the Seminoles on Sunday at 2 p.m.

NOTES

- The Gators have won nine consecutive games. The last time Florida won nine straight was March 8-20, 2002.

- This marks the first time Florida and Gardner-Webb have met.

- Brian Rose was hit by a pitch in the second inning marking the 35th time of his career. David Eckstein holds the current Florida career record with 41.

  • Brian Rose hit his first homerun of season in the fifth inning.
  • UF was hit by a pitch three times in the game to bring their season total to 29.
  • The Gators did not commit an error for their fifth time in the last eight games.

--UF--

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