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C.J. Smith had three hits and a pair of home runs in the 7-6 victory over Arkansas.

Sunday March 21, 2004Baseball Takes Two of Three From Arkansas with 7-6 Win in 10

Gainesville, FL

C.J. Smith had three hits and a pair of home runs in the 7-6 victory over Arkansas.

C.J. Smith went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI as the University of Florida baseball team (20-5, 2-1 SEC) defeated the University of Arkansas (15-8, 1-2 SEC) 7-6 on Sunday in 10 innings. With the win the Gators took the SEC opening series 2-1. UF will end their 11 game home stand Wednesday, March 24 with a game against Dartmouth.

Leading 6-2 entering the ninth the Gators could not hold off Arkansas late as the Razorbacks tied the game. Arkansas benefited from three Florida errors in the inning and received a clutch two RBI single from pinch hitter Scott Bridges that knotted the score at six.

Florida battled back in tenth with the game tied and loaded the bases for Justin Tordi. Tordi came through in the clutch as he hit a single to left that brought home the game-winning run. In the tenth the first batter was retired before a walk to C.J. Smith started the offense. A one out single by Brian Leclerc put two aboard before the runners moved up on a ground out to the left side. A walk to Brian Jeroloman loaded the bases for the heroics by Tordi.

Tommy Boss started his third game of the season and enjoyed his best outing thus far. The junior went five strong innings allowing five hits and just one run while striking out three. Darren O’Day (2-1) would pick up the victory as he threw the final two innings and gave up one hit and three unearned run with a pair of strikeouts.

Despite walking the leadoff man of the game, Boss escaped the first inning and struck out Arkansas clean up hitter Haas Pratt with a man on second to end the inning.

Florida carried that momentum into the bottom half of the first. Adam Davis reached with an infield single, which was followed by a bloop single off the bat of Jeff Corsaletti. Smith followed with his eighth home run of the year and the Gators held a 3-0 edge after one inning.

Boss escaped trouble again in the second. After allowing a single to Blake Parker, a two out single down the line by Devin Day put runners on first and third for the Razorbacks. Boss escaped by enticing a fly out to center with a 2-2 count on Razorback shortstop Scott Hode.

After Florida went quietly in their half of the second and Arkansas followed suit in their half of the third, the Gators added a run on a Smith RBI groundout to shortstop in the third. Corsaletti led off the inning with a single and took second when the ball was misplayed by the Arkansas left fielder. Corsaletti advanced to third courtesy of a wild pitch and then scored on Smith’s groundout making the score 4-0 after three innings.

After both teams went in order in the fourth, Arkansas pushed across their first run in the top of the fifth. After back to back singles to start the inning, a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Brett Hagedorn scored from third on a Jake Dugger fly ball to left. Boss recovered to get pop out to end the inning and the Gators held a 4-1 lead heading onto their half of the fifth.

The Gators squandered two singles in the bottom of the fifth. Smith added his second hit of the day with one out but was then thrown out trying to advance to third on a Leclerc single to right. Leclerc was picked off of first shortly thereafter to end the Gator fifth.

Pinch hitter Stephen Barton was hit by a pitch to start the Florida sixth and Jeroloman followed with a sharp single down the left field line putting runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on a double steal and Matt LaPorta singled up the middle to bring home Barton. After six Florida had extended their lead to 5-1.

Arkansas got the run back as Devin Day hit a long home run to left to give Arkansas its second run closing the gap to 5-2 in favor of Florida.

Florida quickly got that run back as Smith smashed his second home run of the day off Arkansas reliever Jay Sawatski. Smith’s ninth home run of the season was a towering drive to left center. The round tripper was the only Florida hit in the seventh and widened the lead to 6-2 for the Gators after seven innings.

Some miscues in the field led to the four unearned Arkansas runs in the ninth. Brady Toops led off the ninth with a single before the first out of the inning. Back-to-hack Florida errors loaded the bases. With the bases loaded Jeff Corsaletti caught a fly ball in left that was dangerously close to a game tying grand slam but instead was a RBI sacrifice fly for Hode. A Florida scored the second Arkansas run of the inning before Bridges shot a seeing eye single through the right side to bring in the tying runs.

Sawatski took the loss for Arkansas as he dropped to 2-2 on the season. Sawatski went 3 2/3 innings and gave up three hits and two runs with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Jeff Corsaletti ran his hit streak to seven games as he finished the day 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored for the Gators.

Day had three hits and scored twice for the Razorbacks while Blake Parker also had two hits.

 

NOTES

  • Smith’s two homeruns and five RBI both tied career highs. The last time for each was against Florida State last season (3/9/03).
  • The victory on Sunday gave Florida a 14-8 edge in the all-time series against Arkansas after taking two of three games this weekend.
  • Brian Jeroloman’s four walks were a career high. His previous high was two, which he accomplished four times.
  • Florida improved to 2-0 in extra innings this season.
  • Connor Falkenbach pitched in his second straight game and now has a team best 13 appearances.
  • Florida’s Ben Harrison missed his first game of the season due to an injury in his right leg.
  • Florida batted .321 and had a 2.89 ERA in the three game series with the Razorbacks
  • Florida won two games in the opening SEC series for just the second time in the past seven years. The Gators have done it twice since head coach Pat McMahon took over three seasons ago.

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