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Lee Roberson pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and no runs to run his record to 2-0.

Sunday March 7, 2004Baseball Runs Streak to 11 with 3-2 Victory Over Purdue

Gainesville, FL

Lee Roberson pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and no runs to run his record to 2-0.

For the second weekend series in a row, the University of Florida baseball team (15-3) swept a Big Ten opponent as the Gators beat Purdue University (1-5) 3-2 on Sunday in game three of the series. The win ran the Gators win streak to 11 games.

Led by strong relief pitching, the Gators held Purdue scoreless in the final six innings and only gave up six total hits. After starter Bryan Ball was removed in the fourth the duo of Lee Roberson and Darren O’Day shut down the Purdue bats.

Roberson went on to earn his second victory of the season and of the series. He pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. O’Day came on to throw the final 2 1/3 innings and gave up a hit with two strikeouts.

Freshman Brian Leclerc provided much of the offense as he went 2-for-3 while scoring a run and driving in one. Florida finished with four base hits in the game including two for extra bases.

UF scored two in the second and the game winning run in the sixth. The Gators got their first base hit in the second inning with a RBI double by Leclerc that scored Stephen Barton who reached on a walk. Jonathan Tucker followed with a triple to right that scored Leclerc to give UF a 2-1 lead.

Purdue had jumped out on top when Mike Coles put the Boilermakers on the board as he led off the game with a solo home run. Mitch Hilligoss followed with a line drive hit up the middle to put Ball against the ropes. But he settled down and retired the next three batters with two strikeouts.

Purdue then tied the game in the top of the third. Coles and Hilligoss hit back-to-back singles and Simon Klink drew a walk to load the bases. First baseman Eric Wolfe drew the second walk of the inning, which brought Hilligoss home and tied the game at two.

Florida pitched their way out of a jam in the fifth inning. Klink reached on a fielder’s choice and got to third on a single by Wolfe. With runners on the corners, Purdue choose to give up the out and Wolfe was sacrificed to second. With two outs, Roberson struck out designated hitter Matt Bush to end the inning.

This set up the winning run to score as junior C.J. Smith started the sixth with a single to left and advanced to second on a ground ball hit by shortstop Justin Tordi. Brian Jeroloman hit a grounder to Purdue’s shortstop who muffed the ball off his chest for the error and Smith came home to score.

O’Day came on for Roberson with two outs in the seventh. He would give up a single to the first batter he faced but then retired the final seven hitters in order to preserve the victory.

Starter Chris Toneguzzi (1-1) took the loss for Purdue. Toneguzzi pitched six innings and gave up three runs (two earned) while striking out three and walking three.

Purdue left 12 runners on base including seven in scoring position. The Boilermakers went just 3-of-19 with runners on base.

NOTES:

  • UF finished the season 8-0 against teams from the Big Ten after the sweep of Purdue.
  • Florida starter Bryan Ball had a career-high four strikeouts.
  • UF is undefeated when Stephen Barton starts as the designated hitter (3-0).
  • Florida had their streak of 10 straight games with a home run snapped.
  • In the series the Florida bullpen pitched 14 1/3 innings and gave up nine hits and no earned runs while striking out 13 with two walks.
  • Florida was out hit for the sixth time this season.
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