Sunday April 13, 2003Baseball Uses Long Ball For 13-4 Win
Keyed by a pair of five-run innings the Florida baseball team (25-11-1, 6-8-1 SEC) topped South Carolina (22-14, 7-8 SEC) Sunday at McKethan Stadium in the series finale between the two teams. Florida had three big innings as they scored five runs in each the third and seventh and added three in the eighth for the nine run cushion.
Florida used the long ball to snap their five-game SEC losing streak as the Gators hit four homers including two two-run homers and two three-run homers. The three run homers came off the bats of Mario Garza in the third and Brian Rose in the seventh. The Gators had 14 hits in the game as Ben Harrison went 3-for-5 while four others added two hits.
Relief pitcher Mike Pete came on in third and earned the win and Tommy Boss recorded Florida’s second save of the season. Pete pitched 2.0 innings giving up three hits and one run with two walks and one strikeout. Boss allowed only one hit with four strikeouts over his 3.2 innings to close out the game for the Gators.
One run in each the second and third innings gave South Carolina the early 2-0 lead. The Gamecocks struck first in the second when Kevin Milello hit a solo homerun over the scoreboard to give South Carolina the 1-0 lead. In the third, Landon Powell walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brian Triplett then hit an RBI single to score Powell and double the lead.
The Gators bats awoke in the third as they used two home runs to take a 5-2 lead. Stephen Barton reached base on a wild pitch strikeout. Number nine hitter Justin Tordi quickly took advantage as he hit a two-run homer into the left field bleachers to tie the game. After the first out of the inning, Jonathan Tucker singled and advanced to third on an error. In the next at bat, C.J.Smith walked to set the stage for a Garza’s three-run homerun. The Garza homer knocked Gamecock starting pitcher Cliff Donald out of the game.
South Carolina closed in on the three-run Florida lead in the sixth inning with a pair of runs. Hank Parks reached on a throwing error and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Milello hit an RBI single to center field. Jon Coutlangus hit a RBI double down the right field line to close the gap to 5-4.
Florida had another big inning in the seventh scoring five runs. Tucker started the inning with an infield single. Smith singled and Garza walked before Ben Harrison hit an RBI single to right center field. Jeff Corsaletti then hit a sacrifice fly to score Smith. Rose continued the rally with his three run homer over the left field bleachers to assure the win for the Gators.
The Gators tacked on three additional runs in the eighth. Tordi started the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Gamecock error. Brett Dowdy reached on a bunt base hit and Tucker hit a sacrifice fly to score Tordi. The fourth home run for Florida came off the bat of Smith scoring two runs and putting an exclamation point on the win. It was a team leading 12th home run of the season for Smith
Donald took the loss as he went 2.1 innings and gave up four hits and five runs with a walk and three strikeouts.