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Fritz Reichardt hit a pinch hit two RBI double in the ninth inning.

Friday April 18, 2003Late Rally Falls Short in 5-4 Baseball Loss

Gainesville, FL

Fritz Reichardt hit a pinch hit two RBI double in the ninth inning.

A ninth inning rally came up a run short as the University of Florida baseball team (26-12-1, 6-9-1 SEC) fell 5-4 at the hands of Georgia (19-18, 4-12 SEC) Friday night in Athens. The Gators scored two runs in the ninth after going scoreless for six innings.

Florida mounted the late inning rally after a walk and hit by pitch put Jeff Corsaletti and Brian Rose aboard with one out. Fritz Reichardt then stepped to the plate in a pinch hitting role and hit a key bloop double down the right field that scored Corsaletti. A RBI groundout by Justin Tordi cut the deficit to 5-4. A walk to Brett Dowdy put runners at the corners before Georgia made a pitching change. Brent Benefield came on and got Jonathan Tucker to line out to shortstop which ended the game.

Sean Ruthven held the Gator bats in check as he went 8.1 innings giving up just three hits. Ruthven only gave up one base hit over the final seven innings as he walked four and struck out nine in improving to 3-4 on the mound this season. Benefield earned the save as he got the final out with the tying and winning aboard at the corners.

Florida starting pitcher Tommy Boss took the loss after he was pulled in the fourth with one out and two runners on. In his second start of his career Boss went 3.1 innings and gave up seven hits and four runs with a strikeout before giving way to Mike Pete. Pete held when he came on in relief and retired the two batters he faced in the fourth. Pete would throw the middle innings and proved effective as he went 3.0 innings and gave up two hits and a run with a strikeout.

Georgia scored twice in the first after an RBI groundout by Jon Armitage plated David Coffey. Coffey earlier singled and advanced to third on a Lee Mitchell double. Mitchell later scored the Bulldogs second run on an RBI single from Justin McClain.

The Gators didn’t waste anytime tying the game in the second after Ben Harrison led off the inning with a double to left center. Two betters later Rose hit his eighth homer of the season which knotted the score at 2-2.

Two more runs in the fourth gave Georgia their second two-run advantage of the game 4-2. Coffey hit a one-out solo homer to left and McClain’s double scored Mitchell who had earlier hit his second double of the contest.

Georgia added their fifth run in the fifth after Mitchell led off the inning with a double. He later moved to third on a single and came home on a fielder’s choice RBI groundout by Marshall Szabo.

Rose scored twice for Florida, while Coffey and McClain had three hits each for the Bulldogs

The two teams will meet at Foley Field in game two Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The game is being televised live on Sunshine Network and Fox Sports South as the SEC Game of the Week with Dave Neal and Larry Conley calling the action.

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NOTES

  • Catcher Brian Rose ran his hit streak to 15 games which is tied for the fifth longest streak in the SEC this season.
  • Rose was also hit by a pitch a team leading 13th time in the ninth inning.
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