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Sunday May 9, 1999Mississippi State Takes Series with 15-8 Win

Gainesville, FL

It was one of those days on the baseball field that drives a coach crazy. From a throwing error to failure to lay down a sacrifice bunt to poor base running execution, Florida did them all to help lose three different leads in the game as No. 17 Mississippi State took the rubber game in the series 15-8.
  • Josh Canales' two-run throwing error gave the Bulldogs the lead in the fifth for good and MSU right fielder Brian Wiese hit his second home run of the afternoon, a three-run shot in the sixth inning, to add to the lead as the Bulldogs won the series. Kevin Donovan, Scott Polk and Allen Morrison combined to close out the game to secure the win as the Bulldogs added nine runs off reliever Jay Belflower and a 10th off Stuart McFarland to break open a close game.

    Florida was without two of its top relievers. Keith Brice did not pitch due to a sore elbow and SEC ERA leader Ben Grezlovski, who earned the save in Saturday’s win, was injured in a freak accident before the game. Grezlovski was hit in the elbow by a teammate’s bat during pregame batting practice. Brice will be further evaluated Monday by UF team physicians and Grezlovski is listed day-to-day.

    "We ran out of arms," said Lopez. "It is a tough loss but Mississippi State hit the ball extremely well."

    Florida dropped to 31-21, 13-14 on the season, while Mississippi State improved to 37-14, 14-12 in SEC play. Florida is in second place in the SEC Eastern Division, a game behind South Carolina and one ahead of Kentucky for the final spot in the SEC Tournament.

    Florida jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the first inning. After MSU starter Matt Ginter had retired the first two batters, the Gators put together three singles and a walk to plate two runs to take the lead. MSU countered with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning from Wiese.

    After MSU tied the game in the third, the two teams each posted single runs in the fourth. The Gators scored on a run-scoring single from Matt Goss, almost adding a second run when Goss was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

    Florida took the lead for the third time on Kurt Keene’s solo home run to right field in the fifth inning. It was the first home run in 27 games for the junior from Chattanooga, Tenn..

    MSU added two runs in the bottom of the fifth without recording a hit. UF starter Alex Hart (3-3) walked the bases loaded and a throwing error by Canales on a ground ball that could have ended the inning allowed two unearned runs to score. Canales started the game for injured Mark Ellis, who suffered a hamstring pull on Saturday night. Ellis had started every game this season, ending a streak of 89 consecutive games started.

    MSU added three runs in the sixth off reliever Jay Belflower. After recording the first two outs, Belflower allowed a single before walking Ty Martin. Wiese followed with his second home run of the game.

    UF did battle back in the game in its usual come-from-behind fashion. Two runs in the seventh pulled the Gators within two runs. Matt Heath had a run-scoring single and Greg Catalanotte scored a run with a fielder’s choice.

    MSU added six runs in the seventh off Belflower on five hits as the game fell apart for Florida.

    Florida returns home for the last four games of the 1999 regular season starting with the final non-conference match-up of the season against Central Florida on Tuesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. The game will be shown by the Sunshine Network.

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