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Brett Dowdy has the game winning hit as Florida took two of three games from Florida.

Sunday March 23, 2003Baseball Takes Series With 6-5 Win Over Alabama

Gainesville, FL

Brett Dowdy has the game winning hit as Florida took two of three games from Florida.

An RBI single off the bat of Brett Dowdy scored the winning run in the eighth as the University of Florida baseball team (19-6-1, 2-3-1 SEC) took two of three games from Alabama (18-5, 4-2 SEC) with a 6-5 victory on Sunday. Florida won game two on Saturday 6-1 behind a two-hitter from pitcher Justin Hoyman.

After relief pitcher Brian Reed retired the first batter in the eighth, Stephen Barton walked and stole second. Florida’s number nine hitter was retired bringing to the plate Dowdy who singled to left field as Barton was waved home and beat the throw for the game winner.

Florida reliever Darren O’Day (2-1) who came into the game to start the eighth retired the final five batters in order including a strikeout of Alabama number three hitter Adam Pavkovich to end the game. O’Day went 2.0 innings and gave up just a single hit with two strikeouts in earning the win.

"This was total team effort in every aspect of the game," said head coach Pat McMahon. "We had numerous players step in at the right time and get the job done that we needed."

The two teams exchanged runs in the first as Alabama’s Allen Rice hit a solo shot to put the Tide on the board. Florida responded with a run of their own as Jonathan Tucker singled for the Gators first hit. Tucker advanced to second on a balk and then came home to tie the game on a C.J. Smith single.

UF took a brief lead in the second as Brian Rose singled and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Justin Tordi picked up an RBI as he had a run scoring ground out. Alabama took the lead a second time 4-2 with a three-run third. Four of the first five batters had base hits as Travis Garner and Beau Hearod both knocked in runs. UF starter Christian Madson was removed with one out in the third as the freshman made his third start this season.

Madson turned it over to the Florida bullpen after going 2.1 innings and giving up four hits, three runs with no walks and one strikeout.

Mario Garza became the player of the moment in third as he stepped to the plate with two runners on. Tucker and Smith both walked to begin the third and then Garza made the Crimson Tide pay for the free passes as he hit a three-run shot to left center giving Floirda a 5-4 advantage.

The final game of the series became tied again in the sixth as Alabama pushed across a single run. Charlie Lyons singled to start the inning and two runners were aboard after a Nathan Meiners single. An error put both runners in scoring position and Brandon Avalos hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Florida will be back in action when they play the Spanish National Team Wednesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. in a exhibition contest at McKethan Stadium.

NOTES

  • Brett Dowdy extended his hitting streak to eight games with his single in the eighth inning.
  • This was the first series victory over Alabama since the Gators swept the Crimson Tide at home in 1994.
  • The two teams combined to leave 15 runners on base - Florida (7) and Alabama (8).
  • The Alabama bullpen gave up their first run in 22.2 innings when Florida scored the run off of Reed in the eighth.
  • Florida has won 19 of their 21 games at home this season.
  • Alabama only scored one earned run off of the Florida bullpen which combined to throw 6.2 innings.

 

 

 

 

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