Sunday June 1, 2003Baseball Forces Second Championship Game with Win
With the season on the line the University of Florida baseball team (37-20-1) came through in the clutch as they poured it on offensively with a 15-5 victory over top seeded Miami. The Gators forced a winners take all second championship game with the victory. The second championship game is being televised live on Sunshine Network in the Gainesville region and in select other areas of the state.
The Florida victory snapped an 18-game home postseason winning streak by Miami. The Gators would jump out to an 8-0 advantage before Miami scored two runs in the top of the sixth. Florida responded in the bottom of the sixth with seven runs on a pair of home runs.
In the game clinching sixth inning Ben Harrison and Mario Garza hit consecutive singles. Jeff Corsaletti then deposited a pitch over the right center field fence for a 14-2 Gator. UF then reloaded the bases on a walk to Justin Tordi, a base hit by Stephen Barton and a walk to Jonathan Tucker. Brian Rose then hit his second grand slam in as many days as he rocked a pitch over the field wall.
Rose would finish 2-for-5 with five RBI. Harrison would also have a big day at the plate as he was a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI while Tucker scored four times. Florida would end the game with 14 hits and also walked eight times in the game.
Florida struck early after Brett Dowdy led off the Florida first with a walk. Tucker reached on a error before Rose provided an RBI single with a shot to right field. Harrison then scored Florida’s second run with a sacrifice fly into center field.
The Gators would add to the lead and get breathing room in the third as they were aided by three hit by pitches in the inning. In the third Florida would send 11 batters to the plate as they opened up the important 7-0 lead against Miami starter Brandon Camardese.
Camardese took his first loss of the season in falling to 9-1. He went 3.1 innings and gave up seven earned runs with three walks and a strikeout.
The leadoff batter of the third was Barton who singled to right. After an out, Tucker singled before the first hit by pitch to Rose. With the bases loaded Harrison and Mario Garza hit line shots into center field which brought home Barton, Tucker and Rose. A walk to C.J. Smith reloaded the bags for Jeff Corsaletti who was hit by pitch bringing in the fourth run in the inning. At the plate for a second time in the inning Barton earned an RBI hit by pitch that scored Garza which capped the UF scoring in the inning.
Florida flirted with disaster in the first four innings as Miami left nine on base in those four frames. In the second the Canes loaded the bases with two outs but Gator relief pitcher Darren O’Day coaxed number two hitter Adam Ricks into a groundout. In the third the leadoff batter Ryan Braun singled before a double play put two outs on the board. Back-to-back singles by Miami’s Brian Barton and Gabby Sanchez sparked the Hurricanes but once again O’Day ended the inning by catching Joey Hooft looking.
O’Day came on for Jamie Goldfarb who recorded the first five outs before being removed. Goldfarb was making just his second career start and first this season. The senior lefthander would gave up two hits with two walks and strikeouts.
O’Day would earn the victory on the hill as he and Mike Pete pitched the final 7.1 innings. O’Day improved to 4-3 with the win as he went 3.1 innings and gave up a pair of runs with two walks and three strikeouts. Pete would earn the first save of his career as he went the final four innings and gave up a three runs with a walk and two strikeouts.
Miami would tack on a runs in the eight and ninth for the final margin. For the Hurricanes, Sanchex had three hits, while Richard Giannoti had a pair of RBI. Miami did finish the game with 18 base hits as six Miami players had multiple hits.