Friday May 7, 2004Baseball Shutout in 2-0 Loss on the Road to Alabama
The University of Florida baseball team (34-13, 14-8 SEC) fell victim to stellar pitching as the Gators saw the end of their eight-game SEC winning streak with a 2-0 loss to host Alabama (27-20, 8-14 SEC) Friday night. UF had just four hits and could not manufacture any runs against starter Wade LeBlanc who entered the game with a 1.73 ERA.
Florida starter Tommy Boss kept Florida in the game by giving up just two runs (one earned) over his six innings of work. He gave up five hits and had a season high four strikeouts with no walks. He gave way to Connor Falkenbach for the final two innings and Falkenbach did not allow a runner to reach as he retired all six batters he faced.
Boss was out dueled by LeBlanc who pitched a complete-game four-hitter in running his record to 7-4. LeBlanc did not allow a runner to reach third and gave up singles in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. He struck out nine and walked just one in the effort.
Boss cruised through the first three innings as he retired Alabama in order. He struck out three in the first three innings and did not allow a base runner to reach. Mark Haske finally got to Boss in the fourth as he led off the inning with a base hit shot to left field.
Alabama would use the momentum from Haske’s hit to score the first run of the game giving LeBlanc the one run lead. It would be all the southpaw would need, as the Gators were shutout for the first time this season. Haske was then sacrificed to second and then scored on a Evan Bush single to right center. The Crimson Tide would get another hit in the inning but Boss retired the final two batters of the inning leaving two Alabama’s base runners stranded at second and third.
The Crimson Tide scraped another run across the plate as Allen Rice led off the fifth with a single to right. He was sacrificed to second and then scored on an errant throw at third base following a dirt ball wild pitch. The unearned run against Boss gave Alabama the 2-0 lead that they would hold.
The only real threat Florida strung together was in the fifth when Justin Tordi led off the inning with a single and Matt LaPorta followed with base on balls. With no outs and two runners on the next three Florida hitters all hit pop flies that stayed in the infield.
Jeff Corsaletti had a pair of hits for Florida while Evan Bush had two singles for Alabama.
Florida will start right hander Justin Hoyman (9-0) in game two while Alabama will counter with left hander Brent Carter (6-3). First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.