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Junior Jonathan Tucker finished a perfect 4-for-4 and scored three times as Florida defeated USC 9-8

Saturday April 10, 2004Baseball Pulls Out 9-8 Victory Over #7 South Carolina

Gainesville, FL

Junior Jonathan Tucker finished a perfect 4-for-4 and scored three times as Florida defeated USC 9-8

The University of Florida baseball team (26-9, 6-5 SEC) won a back and forth battle as the Gators used a two run eighth to pull out a 9-8 victory over host South Carolina (24-7, 5-6 SEC) Saturday afternoon. The rubber game of the series will take place on Easter Sunday with the start time slated for 1:30 p.m.

Florida had led from the second inning on until the Gamecocks took an 8-7 lead with a four run seventh. Florida persevered though and got clutch hitting from their veterans in pulling out the victory. Jeff Corsaletti delivered the game-winning blow with runners at the corners as he hit line drive up the middle, which scored the ninth run of the contest.

After falling behind in the seventh the Gators used the two-run eighth to go ahead and then held on in the victory. Florida had four hits in the inning off of Gamecock closer Chad Blackwell and scored both runs with two outs. After a strikeout, Justin Tordi started the rally with a single to center. Blackwell then struck out the second batter of the frame but UF would not go quietly. The next three hitters all hit singles to score the tying and winning run. Adam Davis singled to right, which put the go ahead run on first. A single to right by Jonathan Tucker scored the tying run and Corsaletti delivered with his shot right back up the middle bringing home Davis.

The Gamecocks set up the situation with four runs in the seventh after trailing 7-4. Florida had two outs in the inning but a misplayed ground ball error extended the inning and South Carolina took advantage scoring four. Following the error South Carolina had the bases loaded for Michael Campbell who tripled in all three runs with a shot down the right field line. He later scored on a Brendan Winn single to put the Gamecocks ahead after seven. It was the first lead for South Carolina since the first when the Gamecocks led 2-0 on a Landon Powell home run.

Tucker would finish 4-for-4 with three RBI in the game while Davis scored three times and had a pair of hits for the Gators.

Florida starter Bryan Ball had a quality start and earned a no decision as he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits and four runs (three earned). Darren O’Day came on for Ball and improved to 4-1 in throwing the final 3 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and four runs (all unearned) with three strikeouts.

South Carolina scored first as Powell hit his second home run in as many days as he put the Gamecocks on top with a two run shot. The second batter of the first Davy Gregg singled and went to second on an errant throw before Powell delivered from his cleanup spot.

After being sat down in order in the first against starting pitcher Matt Campbell the Gators responded against the southpaw in the second. Florida would bat around in taking a 5-2 lead after the inning.

C.J. Smith led off the inning with a double to the left field gap. Jon Skorupski walked but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice putting runners at the corners. A fielding error on a slow roller to third by Tordi scored Smith and the Gators took advantage of the miscue as Austin Easley doubled a run home with a shot to right center. The double tied the score at two with Adam Davis coming to the plate. Davis followed with a bloop single to right field scoring two and putting UF on top for the first time in the series. Florida was not done as Tucker doubled home Davis all the way from first to end the scoring for the Gators.

Florida pushed another run across in the fourth as the Gators benefited from two South Carolina errors. Davis reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt error while at first base. Tucker capitalized as he picked up his second RBI of the contest with a high chopping single into left field.

South Carolina got the run back after going scoreless in the second and third. Powell would draw a leadoff walk and later score on a Ryan Mahoney base hit to right field. The run was unearned against Ball after an error had advanced Powell to third.

The Gamecocks cut the lead to two by scoring another run in the sixth against Ball. Campbell hit a one out triple and came home on a double to the gap by Winn. Ball would retire Mahoney for the second out of the inning and then be removed for O’Day. O’Day would come on and get the third out of the inning on a lazy fly ball to left.

UF tacked on a seventh run in the seventh to retake a three run lead at 7-4. Corsaletti reached on an error while he was attempting to sacrifice Tucker to second. Ben Harrison hit a sharp line drive to right and Tucker tried scoring but was thrown out at the plate. The two runners aboard moved ahead a base on a groundout and it proved important as Corsaletti scored on a wild pitch from reliever Chad Blackwell.

Gregg had three base hits and scored twice for South Carolina who matched Florida with 12 hits in the game.


  • Florida scored five or more runs in an inning for the 15th time this season with there five run second inning.
  • Florida turned a double play for the fourth time in the series and for the fifth straight game.
  • The Gators improved to 8-2 in game decided by one run.
  • Justin Tordi has 15 putouts in the first two games of the series.
  • Florida improved to 6-3 on the road in 2004 while South Carolina lost just their third home game.
  • The Gators had 10 or more hits for the 10th time in 11 league contests.
  • Austin Easley recorded his first extra base hit as a Gator.
  • After not having any doubles in the opener the Gators recorded three in game two.


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