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Monday March 17, 2003Baseball Battles LSU to 8-8 Tie

Gainesville, FL

In a back and forth battle that saw three ties the University of Florida (15-5-1, 0-2-1 SEC) baseball team tied 8-8 in the final game of a three game series with Louisiana State University (13-7-1, 2-0-1). Both teams rallied from deficits but neither could produce the winning run in the scoreless ninth inning. The game ended in a tie due to SEC travel regulations that would not allow an inning to start after 4 p.m. CT.

The game was tied three times in the game as the Gators jumped out to 3-0 and 5-3 leads before LSU went ahead 8-5. Jonathan Tucker and Jeff Corsaletti each had three hits for Floridaís 13 hit attack. Corsaletti also scored three times, while Ben Harrison and Mario Garza each drove in a pair.

The Gators tied the game in the eighth with a two out rally. With two down and Corsaletti on first, Brett Dowdy singled bringing the tying run to the plate. The hitter, Jonathan Tucker produced as he singled up the middle scoring Corsaletti to make the score 8-6. The bases then became loaded after C.J. Smith was hit by a pitch. Harrison then came through in the clutch as he hit a bloop double down the right field line, which scored Dowdy and Tucker and tied the game.

LSUís big inning came in the sixth as they used five hits to produce five runs as they went ahead for the first time. Ivan Naccarata scored two with a single up the middle to tie the game before Clay Harris produced the big blow. Harris hit a three-run homer which broke a six all tie and lifted the Tigers in front.

Florida didnít waste anytime on Sunday as they struck with runs in each of the first two innings. Dowdy led off the game with a single. He later was forced out on a fielderís choice that allowed Tucker to reach. Tucker then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a stolen base. A walk to Harrison put runners at the corners setting the stage for Garza who hit a double over the center fielderís head scoring both runners. Corsaletti led off the second with a double and was sacrificed to third. He scored the Gators third run on a sac fly from Jake Riordan.

After making the second start of his career freshman Bryan Ball was removed after 1.1 innings of work. Ball left the game after three Tiger singles loaded the bases in the second. Ball gave up four hits and one run while striking out one. Mike Pete came on for Ball and got out of the jam allowing just a sacrifice fly RBI off the bat of Bruce Sprowl.

LSU tied the game with a two-run fourth. The first two runners in the inning reached on a single and a walk before Pete struck out the number nine hitter. Pete then gave up a RBI single to Sprowl and turned the game over to Tommy Boss. Boss gave up a RBI single to J.C. Holt and then reloaded the bases with a walk. The third pitcher of the inning, Lee Roberson entered the game on the mound and got the ground ball he needed for a double play, which ended any further damage in the fourth.

The Gators responded with two runs of their own in the sixth after three scoreless innings. Brian Rose led off the inning with double off the left center wall and that was followed by a RBI single from Corsaletti. Dowdy then singled another run home after a single and a sac bunt moved Corsaletti to third.

Six Florida pitchers threw in the game and gave up 16 hits while walking five and striking out four. LSU had six players with multi-hit games led by Naccarata and Quinn Stewart who each had three hits.

Florida will be back in action when they host Columbia Tuesday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.

 

NOTES

  • Florida had 13 hits in the game but left 10 runners on base.
  • The tie snapped a six game winless streak to the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La.
  • Florida turned a season-high four double plays which ended three of the Tiger innings including the ninth.
  • Only one of the Tiger hits was for extra bases, the home run by Harris in the sixth
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