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Reliever Connor Falkenbach earned the win on the mound as he pitched four scoreless innings.

Sunday April 18, 2004Middle Innings Lift Baseball to 8-3 Win Over MSU

Starkville, Miss.

Reliever Connor Falkenbach earned the win on the mound as he pitched four scoreless innings.

The University of Florida baseball team (28-11, 8-7 SEC) won their third conference series of the season as the Gators defeated Mississippi State (22-14, 6-9 SEC) 8-3 in the rubber game of a key SEC series between the two squads. The Gators scored in just three different innings and rode the relief pitching of Connor Falkenbach in the win.

At the plate Adam Davis had a pair of hits and three RBI while Jeff Corsaletti scored three times after going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.

UF trailed 1-0 but then took control with six runs in the middle three innings. The lead would hold as three Gator relief pitchers kept the Bulldogs scoreless for the final four innings.

The Bulldogs Jeffrey Rea broke the scoreless tie in the third as he drove home number nine hitter Tyler Jones. Jones led off the inning with a triple down the right field line and came home on Rea’s groundout to second.

Mississippi State starter Jeff Lacher would retire the first nine batters in order before Jonathan Tucker singled up the middle to start the fourth. A fielding error put two runners on but Florida could not capitalize as Lacher benefited from Tucker being thrown out trying to steal.

The Gators figured out Lacher in the fifth as UF batted through the order and scored five runs in taking the 5-1 lead. The first two hitters in the inning walked and Davis took advantage as he singled home Corsaletti with a shot up the middle to tie the contest. Florida would then score their next four runs with two outs after a groundout

Ryan Kennedy singled through the left side bringing two runners home and C.J. Smith tripled home Kennedy with a line shot to the right center gap. Ben Harrison would plate the Gators fifth run of the inning as his single to center scored Smith.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to a pair of runs with a two-run fifth before the Gators got one run back in the top of the sixth. Mississippi State got a RBI single from Jones and a RBI sacrifice fly from Rea after the first two batters of the inning had reached base.

In the Florida sixth Corsaletti would walk and advanced to second on a pickoff throw before being wheeled home on a single by Davis. Through six innings the score was 6-3 Florida as the game was in the hands of the Gator bullpen.

Starter Bryan Ball came out after four innings after giving up five hits and three runs. Three relievers would close out the Bulldogs as they did not allow a run. Falkenbach would earn the victory to run his record to 6-3 after giving up four hits and no runs over his four innings. Darren O’Day got the final two outs on a ground ball double play to end the game.

The Gators expanded and went ahead by five runs at 8-3 as two more crossed the plate in the eighth. Matt LaPorta and Corsaletti hit consecutive singles to start the inning putting runners at the corners. Davis picked up his third RBI with a sacrifice fly and Tucker followed with a triple to the gap scoring Corsaletti from first.

Lacher took the loss for the Bulldogs to fall to 3-5 on the season. Mississippi State got two hits from Jones, Jeff Butts and Steve Gendron.

NOTES:

  • Florida walked 17 times in the three game series.
  • UF shortstop Justin Tordi had played every inning of every game this season until he was removed at the start of the bottom of the fifth.
  • Florida had two triples in a game for the second time this season. It was the first Gator triple since March 19 against Arkansas.
  • Davis tied his career high with his three RBI.
  • Florida won their fourth straight series against Mississippi State while Florida head coach Pat McMahon is 7-2 against his former team since taking the Florida head coaching post.
  • Both teams had 10 hits in the game.
  • C.J. Smith had six RBI in the series.
  • Florida did not commit an error in the game. It marked the first time without a miscue since March 28 against Kentucky.

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