Saturday February 21, 2004Late Runs Lift Baseball to 4-3 Win Over Miami
The University of Florida baseball team (5-3) used a pair of runs late and the held off a last inning rally for a 4-3 victory over visiting Miami (Ohio) University (1-1) in the second game of a three game series on Saturday. The two teams will play the final game of the series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled at 1 p.m.
The rally in the eighth started with one out and nobody on as pinch hitter Stephen Barton stepped to the plate. Barton singled to center field and later advanced to second on a balk. A Justin Tordi single brought home Barton and gave Florida the 3-2 lead. In the next at bat, Brian Jeroloman hit a clutch two out double to center as Florida took the two run lead. The Gators would need the two runs as Miami mounted a ninth inning comeback attempt.
Florida reliever Connor Falkenbach took the mound needing three outs to conserve the victory. Falkenbach took over for starter Steven Porter who pitched 5.2 innings and gave up three hits and one run with five strikeouts. It was just the second career start for the freshman hurler.
Brian Canada hit a one out double giving Miami momentum. With two outs pinch hitter Sam Sellery singled through the ride side and brought the game to one run at 4-3. Leadoff hitter Jason Brown hit an infield single putting runners at the corners. Falkenbach would coax John Slone into a weak groundout shortstop to end the game.
Falkenbach picked up the win (2-0) after pitching three innings and allowing five hits with two strikeouts and two runs (one earned). Miami relief pitcher Jeff Day took the loss as he pitched 2.0 innings and gave up one run with a walk and a strikeout.
Both teams went scoreless through five innings before the Redhawks got on the board. Paul Frietch walked to start the sixth before Tyler Tabler doubled to left center scoring Frietch and giving Miami the 1-0 early lead. Falkenbach would enter the game with two outs and a runner on second. He would strike out Geoff Orr to end any further threat.
The Gators quickly responded in the bottom of the inning as Ben Harrison deposited the first pitch of the inning over the center field wall. Florida would not quit their as Jon Skorupski later singled to right center. In the next at bat, Jeff Corsaletti pushed a single through the right side that the Redhawks were unable to handle. A throwing error on the relay allowed Skorupski to score which put the Gators ahead 2-1.
Miami evened the game at two in the eighth inning. Slone singled to first base before a Gator fielding error allowled him to advance to second. A Tabler single to right field brought home Slone and tied the game.
At the plate for Florida Harrison was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI while Jeroloman and Adam Davis each had a pair of hits. Florida had 12 base hits in the game with eight different players having at least one.
Day would take the loss as he dropped to 0-1 on the season for Miami.