Sunday March 9, 2003Baseball Holds Off Seminoles to Win 9-8
The University of Florida baseball team knocked off the number one team in the nation on Sunday as the Gators held on for a 9-8 victory over Florida State in the final game of a three game series against the Seminoles. The Gators held a 8-0 lead and held off the FSU late rally for the victory. The UF win snapped a 16-game Florida State winning streak.
Gator starter Justin Hoyman struck out the first three Seminole batters, and the Gators fed off the momentum in the bottom of the inning to take an early 4-0 advantage. Jonathan Tucker doubled, Mario Garza singled and Ben Harrison hit a RBI single that scored Tucker before C.J Smith provided the big blow as he hit a three-run homerun.
Hoyman improved to 3-0 on the season by throwing 5.2 innings and giving up eight hits and five runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. Junior Adam Sanabria came on with one out in the eighth and struck out the final two batters of the inning before retiring the Seminoles in order in the ninth for the first save of his career.
The winning Florida run came on leadoff hitter Brett Dowdy’s solo homer in the sixth after FSU cut the deficit to 8-5. Florida found itself with a comfortable 8-0 lead before the Seminoles bats awoke in the sixth.
Smith had a monster day at the plate as he finished 2-for-5 with five RBI while Dowdy and Tucker also finished with two hits each.
The Gators surged came in the third inning with four runs off four hits. Harrison walked to start the inning. In the next at bat, C.J. Smith hit his second home run of the game to put the Gators in front 6-0. UF continued the rally as Jeff Corsaletti had an infield single and scored on a Brian Rose double to center. Tordi’s RBI single scored Rose to give the Gators an 8-0 lead at the end of three innings.
Florida State struck back in the sixth inning with five runs to bring the game within three. Tony Richie started the inning with a single. Jerrod Brown walked and Chris Hart singled to load the bases. Eddy Martinez-Estevez hit a bases clearing double which scored all three base runners. Matt Sauls the doubled to left field to score Estevez. In the next at bat, Stephen Drew singled to score Sauls and bring the score to 8-5.
Back-to-back homeruns by Sauls and Drew in the eighth brought the Seminoles within the single run, before Sanabria took over and shut down FSU.
At the plate for FSU Sauls had three hits and three RBI and Drew had four hits and drove in a pair. Making his first career start Eddie Cannon took the loss going 2.2 innings and giving up nine hits and eight runs with one walk and one strikeout.