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Freshman Matt LaPorta hit a solo home run and went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the loss to Ole Miss.

Sunday May 16, 2004Baseball Drops Finale 10-9 in Extra Innings to Ole Miss

Gainesville, FL

Freshman Matt LaPorta hit a solo home run and went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the loss to Ole Miss.

The University of Florida baseball team (37-16, 16-11 SEC) fell behind three different times but could only tie the game up twice as Ole Miss (38-15, 17-10 SEC) knocked off Florida 10-9 in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon. The Rebels scored three runs in the top of the 10th but Florida could only rally for a pair in the bottom of the inning in losing the one-run game.

The Gators trailed by as much as five runs early, but rallied back and tied the scored at 5-5 after six and again at 7-7 after the seventh inning.

Ole Miss pulled off the victory with a three-run 10th inning. Alex Presley tripled to lead off the inning as the Gators brought the infield in. After a foul out, Matt Tolbert singled in the go ahead run for a one run Ole Miss. The Rebels were not finished as Barry Gunther hit a two run shot just over the outstretched arms of Ben Harrison in right center field.

Florida would stage a comeback attempt of its own in the 10th as Jonathan Tucker drew a one out walk. After the second out of the frame C.J. Smith hit a towering home run to left center field that brought the tying run to the plate. Ole Miss reliever Chris Thompson shut the door though as he struck out the final batter to end the game.

Thompson picked up the win as he went the final 3 2/3 innings and gave up just one hit and two runs.

Smith would finish 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored for Florida while four other Gators finished with two hits. Matt LaPorta drove in a pair of runs and scored twice while Adam Davis also had two hits and two runs scored.

The game got off to a rocky start for Florida as starter Bryan Ball did not have command of his breaking ball that limited him to just 2/3 of an inning where he was touched for four earned runs.

The Rebels took advantage of a pair of walks early as they batted around in the first inning in scoring four runs on four hits. Seth Smith hit an RBI sacrifice fly bringing home Cooper Osteen who led off the game with a full count walk. With runners at the corners Brian Pettway grounder into a fielder’s choice that scored Chris Coghlan. Charlie Babineaux and Matt Tolbert later hit RBI singles for the Rebels.

Ole Miss added a fifth run in the second as Coghlan drove home Osteen with a single up the middle. Osteen had led off the inning with a single before advancing to second on a wild pitch.

UF started to crawl back into the game after falling behind 5-0 after two innings. Connor Falkenbach kept the Rebels off the board as Florida tied the game at five after chipping away at the lead. The Gators scored two in each the second and fifth before tying the contest with a single run in the sixth.

Florida got two runs back in the bottom half of the second as the Gators loaded the bases for ninth hitter Gavin Dickey. Dickey singled through the left side of the infield driving in Matt LaPorta and Adam Davis. With two runners on and no outs the Gators could not muster any more runs as the next three hitters all flied out.

C.J. Smith began the Florida fifth with a double down the left field line and was brought home by a Ben Harrison single. After advancing to third on a Jeff Corsaletti single, Harrison would come home on a LaPorta sacrifice fly to bring the Gators within one at 5-4.

The Gators tied it up the next inning when Tucker used his speed and legged out a triple with one out. Stephen Barton followed with a double to right that tied the game at five.

The two teams would b e tied one last time before the Rebels pulled off the victory in extra innings. Florida and Ole Miss traded a pair runs in the seventh forcing the extra time.

Ole Miss broke the tie by scoring two in the top of the seventh that came off of an Alex Presley double that scored Pettway and Smith who both reached on singles.

Florida would bounce right back with two runs of their own that came on a solo home run by LaPorta and a sacrifice bunt that scored Davis from third. Davis reached on a two-error play that first saw the ball go all the way to the wall in left field after the ball was misplayed twice. Justin Tordi then nearly beat out a safety squeeze down the first base line that brought home Davis from third.

Falkenbach would earn the loss as he pitched 7 2/3 innings in relief in falling to 7-4 on the season. He gave up six hits and three runs before giving way to three other Florida relief pitchers. UF used six pitchers in the contest.

NOTES:

  • Gavin Dickey made his first career collegiate start in centerfield.
  • UF is now 35-34 all-time against Ole Miss … Florida lost a series to the Rebels at home for just the second time ever ... Ole Miss improved to 2-7-2 all-time in series against Florida in Gainesville … Florida has lost six straight games to the Rebels after being swept in Oxford last season.
  • Matt LaPorta’s home run in the eighth inning was the first Gator home run since Ben Harrison hit two at Alabama on May 8 … It was the first long ball for LaPorta in 12 games and 24 at bats.
  • The Gators had 15 or more hits for the ninth time this season … UF finished game three with 15 hits after having just 16 total in the first two games.
  • Florida did not commit an error in the three game series … It was the first time this season Florida did not have an error in an entire series … UF raised its fielding percentage to a season high .962.
  • After going 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the first two games Florida went 5-for-15 in game three.

 

 

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