Wednesday March 26, 2003Baseball Takes Exhibition Contest 18-1
The University of Florida baseball team took a break from their busy regular-season schedule to take on the Spanish National Team this evening as the Gators came out on top 18-1 in an international exhibition contest. Florida will be back in action as they host Tennessee in a SEC series March 28-30 at McKethan Stadium.
With international rules in place the game was cut short after seven innings due to the 10-run rule. Florida had 15 hits and used three big innings to cruise to victory. Five Gators had multiple hits as Joe Mercadante went 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and three RBI. Greg Quatrino also drove in three with a pair of singles, while Fritz Reichardt and Matt Maley each had two hits, two RBI and three runs scored.
Florida put the game away early as they scored seven runs in the first inning to take the lead. The Gators had just three hits but used an error to jump out to the big lead. Just one earned run was charged to Spainís starting pitcher Rene Reyes. UF scored six of the runs with two outs as Mercadante provided a triple that scored two and Jake Riordan also drove in two with a double down the left field line.
Florida added to lead with a eight-run fifth as the Gators had seven hits. Four consecutive singles by Reichardt, Quatrino, Maley, Quatrino and Lee Roberson with the bases loaded kept the rally alive and scored runs. Roberson had two hits in the inning as he led off the fifth with a double and later scored a run with a single to right.
The final Florida scoring in the game occurred in the sixth as three runs crossed the plate after Maley knocked a run in with a single and Quatrino singled up the middle scoring Maley and Reichardt.
Five Florida pitchers limited the national team to just two hits while striking out 10 with Roberson picking up the victory on the mound.