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Sunday March 27, 2005Baseball Takes Series From No. 6 South Carolina, 6-1

Gainesville, FL

No. 11 Florida earned its first series win over No. 6 South Carolina since 1999 by collecting a 6-1 win on Easter Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. The Gators (19-7/3-3 SEC) rebounded from a 2-0 loss on Friday night to take the final two meetings with the Gamecocks (19-5/2-4 SEC). Senior Connor Falkenbach (Parkland, Fla.) picked up his first victory of the season by hurling five scoreless innings in which he gave up two hits. On the weekend, the righty registered a 0.00 earned run average in 8.1 innings over three appearances. Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) put the hosts ahead to stay with a two-run single in the second frame.

Junior Michael Campbell stroked a two-out RBI single to right off junior Alan Horne (Marianna, Fla.) in the top of the first to give USC a quick 1-0 lead. Junior Chris Brown had opened the game with a walk but was gunned down attempting to swipe second by sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.), marking the catcher’s ninth-straight runner caught stealing. Junior Steven Tolleson followed with another walk before sophomore left fielder Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) robbed senior Steve Pearce of extra bases with a leaping grab against the wall. Sophomore Jon Willard singled to right center to give Carolina runners on the corners and Campbell delivered a base-hit on a 3-2 offering to plate Tolleson.

Florida used three-consecutive hits in the second, highlighted by a two-run single from Tordi, off senior Jason Fletcher to take a 2-1 advantage. Dickey launched a one-out double to the gap in right, his fifth two-bagger of the campaign, and Jeroloman dropped in a flare to give the Gators a pair of runners in scoring position. Tordi’s pair of RBI were his first in conference play this season.

The Gamecocks threatened in the third by putting runners on first and third with one down but Horne worked out of the jam. Tolleson drew a one-out walk and stole both second and third base before Pearce earned a base on balls. The right-hander had Willard pop-up to Jeroloman and Campbell fly out to Leclerc in right.

Fletcher (2-1) departed after two full innings in which he allowed three hits and two runs with two strikeouts. Corsaletti greeted rookie reliever Andrew Cruse with a leadoff homer just over the wall in right for a 3-1 Gator lead. The round-tripper was the fourth of the season for Corsaletti and his first since Feb. 15 against Florida A&M.

Junior Neil Giesler was hit by a pitch to open the fifth and Brown followed with a single into left field to end the afternoon for Horne (3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K). Falkenbach’s initial batter, Tolleson, sacrificed his teammates over to second and third and the righty popped Pearce up to Tordi and had Willard ground out.

The Gators increased their margin to 4-1 in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Corsaletti that scored freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) all the way from second base. McArthur had sliced a single to right and moved into scoring position with his first career stolen base.

UF loaded the bases with two down in the sixth but could not take advantage of the situation. Dickey was plunked by sophomore Arik Hempey with one out and Jeroloman rifled a single down the right field line to push his teammate to third. After Tordi popped up a bunt, junior Andy Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) walked to fill the bases. Dempey stranded the trio of runners by having McArthur fly out to right.

The Gators loaded the bases again in the seventh, courtesy of Barton (walk), Adam Davis (single) and sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) (walk), forcing a Carolina pitching change. Junior Andy Lambert struck out Dickey but permitted a walk to Jeroloman to give Florida a 5-1 cushion. Adam Davis later finished the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth to score Corsaletti.

Florida’s top three hitters in the lineup were a combined 6-for-12, triggered by Corsaletti, Barton (2-for-3) and Adam Davis (2-for-5, RBI). Five USC players accounted for the Garnet and Black’s offense, while Tolleson finished 1-for-1 with two walks and two thefts. UF returns to action on Wednesday night when it travels to Tallahassee to meet Florida State at 6 p.m.

Game Notes:

  • Jeff Corsaletti’s homer starting the bottom of the third was UF’s sixth dinger to begin an inning this season.
  • The blast was also the only homer by either team in the series.
  • Adam Davis was caught stealing in the third inning and is now 12-for-14 on the basepaths this season.
  • Alan Horne’s four innings were his longest stint since going six against Rhode Island on Feb. 25.
  • Stephen Barton’s double in the fifth ended an 0-for-11 start to SEC play.


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