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

Friday April 23, 2004Baseball Scores Five Unanswered for 5-3 Win Over Vanderbilt

Gainesville, FL

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

After falling behind by three runs the University of Florida baseball team (29-12, 9-7 SEC) scored five unanswered runs in defeating Vanderbilt 5-3 (27-11, 7-9 SEC) in game one of an SEC series Friday night. Florida relief pitcher Connor Falkenbach held the Commodores scoreless for five innings as the Gator offense came through in the victory.

Falkenbach would enter the game at the start of the fifth inning and would retire 15 of 17 hitters he faced in running his record to 7-3. He gave up a pair of hits and did not walk a batter while striking out five. Falkenbach came on for starter Tommy Boss who gave up three runs over four innings on six hits.

Florida took the lead for good in the sixth with a pair of unearned runs. Vanderbilt starter Jeremy Sowers made a crucial error on a sacrifice bunt that scored the tying run and put the go ahead runner at third. C.J. Smith was hit by a pitch on a full count to lead off the inning. After a single, Jon Skorupskiís bunt was thrown away at third by Sowers allowing Smith to score and moving Harrison third. Harrison would score the game winner one batter later on a sacrifice fly ball to the outfield by Matt LaPorta.

UF tacked on an insurance run in the eighth for Falkenbach. Florida put two runners on after singles by Smith and Ben Harrison and Jeff Corsaletti delivered a two out single to left center scoring Smith with the fifth run of the contest.

Vanderbilt took a 1-0 in the first on Boss and used a two-run homer in the fourth to take the 3-0 lead. Ryan Klosterman led off the game with a single to right for Vanderbilt. He would come home with the first run of the contest when cleanup hitter Cesar Nicholas doubled off the wall in left center. The Commodores made the score 3-0 in the fourth as Tony Mansolino launched a home run to center. Mansolino followed a single by Nicholas with the long ball to put Vanderbilt on top by three.

Sowers cruised through the first three innings as he faced just one batter over the minimum. The Gators got to the southpaw in the fourth as Florida put runners at the corners with no outs after a walk and a single. Harrison then drove home Floridaís first run with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Austin Easley put Florida within a run after scoring in the fifth. Easley singled and after Jonathan Tucker was hit by a pitch a failed pickoff attempt at first allowed Easley to wheel home from second.

Sowers took the loss on the mound to fall to 6-3 in 2004. He threw 114 pitches over seven innings and gave up five hits and four runs (one earned) with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.

Both teams had eight hits as Florida got a pair of hits from Harrison and Smith while Smith also scored twice. Nicholas had two base hits for Vanderbilt.

Game two will start at 4 p.m. ET Saturday with Florida slated to send RHP Justin Hoyman (7-0) to the mound to face Vanderbiltís Jensen Lewis (4-3).

NOTES:

  • The two sacrifice flies gave Florida 23 for the season, which is tied for third in the SEC.
  • The Friday night victory was the first Florida win on Friday since March 26 against Kentucky.
  • The game time of 2:15 was the shortest this season for Florida.
  • It was the fourth relief outing of the season for Falkenbach of five or more innings.
  • For the first time this season Florida did not have an extra bases hit in a game.
  • Florida improved to 10-3 in games decided by two runs or less.
  • Smith ran his hit streak to eight games.

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