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Tommy Boss earned his second win of the season with five strong innings in relief.

Saturday May 3, 2003Baseball Earns Split With Comeback 8-6 Victory

Gainesville, FL

Tommy Boss earned his second win of the season with five strong innings in relief.

Keyed by a go-ahead grand slam off the bat of Ben Harrison in the fifth the University of Florida baseball team earned a split of a doubleheader at Auburn with a 8-6 victory over the Tigers Saturday. The bottom three batters of the Florida order set the table all night as they combined to go 7-for-11 with four runs scored.

After falling behind 5-0 the Gators would claw back and then explode for five runs in the fifth. Florida scored runs in four straight innings from the third until the sixth to preserve the victory for reliever Tommy Boss. Auburn would threaten in the ninth as the first two hitters singled but reliever Connor Falkenbach would retire three straight hitters after entering the game with the winning run at bat.

Boss would go five strong innings after taking over for starter Christian Madson with two outs in the first. Boss improved to 2-2 after giving up three hits and two runs (one earned) with two walks and two strikeouts. The sophomore retired 12 straight batters from the end of the second through the middle of the sixth before surrendering a pair of walks. Boss was lifted in the sixth for Darren O’Day with the tying run at the plate and O’Day came through coaxing Javon Moran to flyout to center to end the inning. Connor Falkenback would come up big as he earned his second save with a scoreless inning.

UF would strike in the third after Stephen Barton and Justin Tordi led off the inning with back-to-back singles through the right side of the infield. Both runners would move up a base on a groundout and an RBI groundout by Jonathan Tucker scored the first Florida run. The Gators cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth after C.J. Smith provided another run as he hit a solo blast off the scoreboard in left center.

Florida then took control for the first time in the series in the fifth as Auburn used three pitchers in the inning. The big blow was the grand slam by Harrison. Harrison went the other way with a 2-0 Chris Dennis pitch for his eighth home run of the season. An RBI double by Mario Garza plated Tordi for the first run of the inning before a pair of walks to Brett Dowdy and Smith loaded the bags for Harrison.

In the sixth the Gators used small ball for their eighth run of the game. Barton led off the inning with his second single of the contest. He was sacrificed to second and came home one batter later as Garza hit a line shot single to center.

Madson retired the first two Auburn batters of the game, but the Tigers would get to freshman hurler for three runs before he was removed in the opening frame. After a walk to Tug Hulett, Bobby Huddleston would double home Hulett for the first of the game. Madson walked the fifth batter that put two runners aboard for Josh Bell. Bell ran the count to 3-2 before driving a pitch to the gap in right center, which scored both base runners. After another walk, Tommy Boss would enter the game on the mound and get the final out.

Auburn took a 5-0 lead after two with a pair of runs in the second. Javon Moran tripled home Sean Gamble and Moran would later score an unearned run after a fielding error.

Garza finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Barton had three singles for the Gators. Bell and Amonite each had a pair of hits for the Tigers while Amonite also drove in two.

The two teams will play the final game of the series at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 4. The game is being televised on CSS and the Sunshine Network. Florida will send sophomore Justin Hoyman (7-3, 3.06 ERA) to the mound to face Auburn’s Colby Paxton (5-1, 3.81)

 

NOTES

  • Florida scored five or more runs in an inning for the 25th time this season when they plated five in the fifth.
  • C.J. Smith hit his team leading fifth SEC homer of the season. Smith has hit homers in the first two games of the series with Auburn.
  • The Gators hit two or more homers in a game for the 17th time in 2003.
  • Auburn went hitless from the third through the sixth innings.
  • Florida has gone 4-2 in six doubleheader games this season.
  • Florida had 10 or more hits in an SEC game for the 10th time this year.
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