Friday March 7, 2003Baseball Falls to Florida State 5-4
Despite three hits and two runs scored from leadoff hitter Brett Dowdy the University of Florida baseball team dropped the first game on a three-game set with in-state rival Florida State University Friday night 5-4. The loss snapped the Florida win streak at nine games while Florida State ran their win streak to 15.
The Seminoles struck first with two runs in the second inning as Matt Sauls drove Chris Hart home and the second runner scored on Sauls single after the ball got away at third base.
After going hitless in the first two innings the Gators bats awoke in third as they hit three straight singles after Jake Riordan led off the inning with a double. After the double, runners were on the corners after a Brett Dowdy single. Jonathan Tucker then picked up an RBI with a push bunt single. Dowdy wheeled to third on the bunt and promptly came home on a Ben Harrison single which knotted the score at two.
Florida State gained another two-run advantage in the third as Jerrod Brown and Eddy Martinez-Esteve each had RBI doubles. Following the third inning starter Mike Pete (1-1) was removed after giving up four runs (three earned), eight hits while walking one and striking out a pair. Pete took the loss on the mound while FSU starter Matt Lynch was the winner as he pitched 7.1 innings and gave up 11 hits and four runs with four strikeouts.
The Florida bullpen took over in the fourth as Tommy Boss came on to throw 3.2 innings and gave up just one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Boss gave up the fifth FSU run in the sixth after a double by Hart. Hart advanced to third on a fielder’s choice groundout and then came home on an RBI sacrifice fly from Blake Balkcom.
Florida cut the lead to a run at 5-4 after Brett Dowdy hit a one out single in the seventh. Two batters later Ben Harrison doubled in a run and C.J. Smith made it back-to-back doubles as he scored Harrison with a double to left field.
Both teams had 11 hits with Tucker and Harrison each adding two for Florida.
The two teams meet in game two of the series Saturday at 2 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium.