Friday February 20, 2004Baseball Can't Hang on Late in One Run Loss, 9-8
The University of Florida baseball team (4-3) could not hold onto a one-run lead entering the ninth inning and fell to visiting Miami (Ohio) University 9-8 Friday night in front of 1,723 fans at McKethan Stadium.
Miami’s Paul Frietch provided the knockout punch as he delivered a two-run homer in the final inning for the winning margin. The Gators were one strike away from victory but with two outs and nobody on, John Slone doubled which was followed by the Frietch homer.
Miami relief pitcher Keith Weiser retired the Gators in order in the ninth to preserve the win. Darren O’Day picked up the loss for Florida as he gave up just the two runs and had two walks and two strikeouts in his 2.2 innings of work in relief of Justin Hoyman.
Florida rallied in the eighth inning and reclaimed the lead after falling behind 7-6. After scoring five runs in the second the Gators would be scoreless for the next four innings.
In the eighth Ben Harrison walked and stole second before C. J. Smith drilled a RBI double down the right field line to even the score. A Redhawk error enabled Smith to advance a base and he later scored on a second Miami error. The RedHawks had three miscues in the inning.
At the plate Harrison (3-of-4) and Brain Jeroloman (2-of-3) led the Gators with two RBI each.
The Redhawks jumped to the early lead in the first off Hoyman who entered the game with 16 straight scoreless innings. Leadoff hitter Jason Brown reached base on a Gator throwing error. The RedHawks took advantage as Slone slugged a RBI double to left field before Frietch single to center bringing home the second run.
After a scoreless first the Gators came back strong with five runs in the second inning. They held the lead until the seventh when Miami pushed three runs across.
The second frame started with back-to-back singles by fifth and sixth hitters Jon Skorupski and Jeff Corsaletti One batter later Justin Tordi walked to load the bases. Brian Jeroloman jumped on a 2-2 pitch and drove it into center which scored both Skorupski and Corsaletti and tied the game. A Ryan Kennedy sacrifice fly scored Tordi giving the Gators their first lead of the game. Adam Davis was hit by a pitch and later advanced to second on a wild pitch putting two runners in scoring position. In the next at bat, Ben Harrison hit a two RBI single to right giving Florida the 5-2 lead.
Miami scored one run in each the third and fourth innings to cut the lead to 5-4. In the third, Jason Brown tripled down the right field line and was brought home on a Slone ground out to the shortstop. The Redhawks were able to tack on another run when Geoff Orr doubled to right center and scored after a sacrifice by Brian Canada and a Ryan Edginton infield single.
Miami reclaimed the lead 7-5 in the seventh inning. Canada opened the inning with a single through the left side before Campbell doubled down the left field line scoring Canada. Brown singled to right field bringing home Campbell. He advanced to second on a passed ball by and later scored on a Slone single to center capping off the Redhawks three-run inning.
Florida was able to pull within one run in the seventh before their eighth inning heroics. Tordi doubled to right field before Jeroloman singled. A LeClerc fielder’s choice scored Tordi and closed the gap to 7-6.
Hoyman would go 6.1 innings and gave up nine hits and seven runs (five earned) and had five strikeouts.
Frietch had four RBI for the RedHawks while Slone had three hits including a pair of doubles.
The series continues Saturday at McKethan Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.