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C.J. Smith had three hits and four RBI in the Gators 11-5 win over Florida A&M.

Wednesday February 18, 2004Baseball Drops FAMU 11-5 For Third Straight Home Win

Gainesville, FL

C.J. Smith had three hits and four RBI in the Gators 11-5 win over Florida A&M.

Behind a three-hit four RBI performance from C.J. Smith the University of Florida baseball team (4-2) remained undefeated at home with a 11-5 victory over visiting Florida A&M University (5-7) on Wednesday. Two other Gators, Justin Tordi and Jonathan Tucker, had two RBI each as Florida received solid pitching performances from four pitchers.

Sophomore Bryan Ball picked up his first win of the season on the mound as he went four innings and gave up three hits and three runs (one earned) with a pair of strikeouts.

After falling behind twice in the early innings the Gators seized the lead for good at 6-3 with a four run fourth. Florida fell behind 1-0 after three and again 3-2 after the top of the fourth.

Florida A&M recorded the first run on the game and took the lead 1-0 in the top of the third. Jimmy Walterick reached on a Florida error and later on in the inning scored on a Virgil Priestly sacrifice fly to left field scoring Walterick and giving the Rattlers a 1-0 lead.

The Gators quickly responded in the bottom of the inning. Jon Skorupski walked to open the inning and advanced to second on an A. J. Patrick wild pitch. Brian Jeroloman hit a sacrifice bunt putting Skorupski in scoring position before Justin Tordi doubled down the right field line and brought home the runner. After advancing to third on a Davis ground out, Tordi scored on a Jonathan Tucker single to left field giving the Gators the 2-1 advantage.

Three straight Rattlers reached base to open the fourth inning setting up a Walterick two RBI double allowing Florida A&M to reclaim a momentary 3-2 advantage.

The Florida fourth started with back-to-back walks to Jeff Corsaletti and C.J. Smith. A Brian LeClerc single to right scored Corsaletti and tied the game at three. Jeroloman walked before an infield single by Tordi scored Smith. In the next at bat, Adam Davis reached on a Rattler fielding error-allowing LeClerc to score an unearned run. The final run of the inning scored on a Jonathan Tucker RBI fielderís choice that scored Jeroloman.

The Rattlers fought back in the fifth inning. Priestly singled to left field before Todd Rodman hit a home run to left field narrowing the lead to one run at 6-5.

The Gators would add five more runs in the fifth and sixth as they pulled away with the final margin of 11-5 through six innings.

The three-run fifth was setup after back-to-back singles by Ben Harrison and Corsaletti. Smith slugged a two RBI triple to right center field, his first triple of the season. He later scored on a Skorupski left-field single bringing the Florida advantage to 9-5.

In the sixth, Harrison walked before Smith homered to right center. Smith finished with the four RBI and was just a double short of the cycle.

The Florida pitching staff combined to give up just seven hits and had three walks and eight strikeouts. Brian Jeroloman also finished 2-for-2 at the plate while Priestly led the Rattlers offensively, as he was 3-for-4.

Patrick earned the loss for FAMU as he dropped to 1-3 on the season. He went 4.0 innings and gave up eight hits and nine runs (seven earned) with four walks and three strikeouts.

Florida returns to action Friday at McKethan Stadium as they continue a nine-game home stand with a three game series against Miami (Ohio). First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

NOTES

  • Tuckerís stolen base in the third inning marked the first stolen base for the Gators this season. Florida went on to steal four bases in the game.
  • Florida leads the all-time series vs. Florida A&M 12-0.
  • The Gators have outscored the Rattlers 148-40 in the history of the series.
  • Todayís game began a nine-game home stand for the Gators. Florida will play 20 of its next 21 games at McKethan Stadium.
  • Florida holds a 201-14 record when scoring 10 or more runs (since 1993).
  • The two teams combined to leave 14 on base.

 

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