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Saturday March 8, 2003Baseball Can't Hold On in 9-7 Loss to FSU

Gainesville, FL

Two late Florida State runs were the difference as the number one ranked Seminoles defeated the University of Florida baseball team 9-7 Saturday afternoon. FSU scored two runs in the eighth to break a 7-7 tie. The two teams wrap up the season series as Florida hosts Florida State on Sunday at McKethan Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

FSU pushed two across in the eighth on reliever Bryan Ball who entered the game in the middle of the seventh. The winning runs scored after a fielding error to open the eighth. A Stephen Drew double put two in scoring position and back-to-back singles from Tony McQuade and Tony Richie scored the game winners. Ball took the loss throwing one inning and giving up three hits and two runs (one earned).

Freshman Christian Madson made his first collegiate start after scheduled starter Connor Falkenbach was lifted due to a stomach virus. Madson performed admirably as he went three innings and gave up two hits and two runs while striking out three.

The Gators jumped all over FSU starter Trent Peterson in the first to take a quick two run lead. Jonathan Tucker singled and then Ben Harrison reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. On the play Tucker came all the way and Harrison advanced to second after a misplay in the outfield. C.J. Smith made the Seminoles pay for miscues as he doubled home Harrison for a 2-0 Florida lead. The Gators added to the lead with two more runs in the top of the third.

In the inning, a Seminole error again opened the door for Florida as a double by Tucker was followed by another error. With runners at the corners Smith had an RBI groundout. With Harrison on second, the junior stole third and then stole home as the catcher tossed the ball back to the pitcher.

FSU cut the deficit in half on a bases loaded two RBI single by Jerrord Brown. Madson then got out of the jam by striking out the final batter of the inning. The two teams then went into the sixth inning tied at four after Florida State scored twice more in the fifth. Matt Sauls walked to lead off the inning. Stephen Drew then singled putting runners on the corners. Following a strikeout Tony Richie doubled both runners in which tied the game up.

The Gators rallied ahead and took the largest lead of the game after two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. In the sixth Jake Riordan doubled home Brian Rose who had earlier reached on a walk. Brett Dowdy then came to the plate with two outs and singled home Riordan. In the seventh Jeff Corsaletti drew a leadoff walk and one batter later Rose doubled him home for a 7-4 Gator advantage.

For the second time in the game Florida State rallied to tie the game up with a three run seventh. Brown had an RBI double while Chris Hart and Blake Balkcom also drove in runs.

At the plate the Gators had nine hits including four doubles. Rose was 2-for-3 while Tucker had two hits and scored twice.



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