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Friday April 8, 2005Fifth-Ranked Baseball Falls at Georgia, 5-2

Athens, GA

Georgia used a four-run fourth inning on its way to a 5-2 victory over No. 5 Florida in front of 2,421 fans at Foley Field on Friday night. The Bulldogs (18-12/3-6 SEC) opened a seven-game homestand with their third straight win and ended the Gators’ (23-8/6-4 SEC) winning streak at six games.

Junior Michael Hyle (2-2) notched the victory by tossing 5.1 innings, while junior Will Startup limited UF to zero runs and one hit and had four strikeouts over 3.2 innings to collect his fourth save. Junior Kyle Keen was a perfect 3-for-3 for the Dawgs, who had an 8-6 edge in hits. Senior Tommy Boss (Dunnellon, Fla.) recorded a career-high seven strikeouts in a season-high 6.1 innings but fell to 4-2 with the setback.

The Bulldogs had runners on the corners with one down in the second against Boss but failed to score. Junior Jason Jacobs reached on a one-out fielding error and moved to second on a passed ball before senior Derek Smith roped a single into right field. Boss induced a grounder by Jonathan Wyatt that resulted in a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

A two-out RBI single in the fourth by sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) plated sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) with the game’s opening run. Davis had beaten out an infield hit and was awarded second base when the relay throw from senior shortstop Josh Smith went out of play. Leclerc roped a 1-2 pitch from Hyle to help the Gators draw first blood.

Georgia seized a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on four runs, four hits and a Gator error. Josh Smith led off with a base-hit to left and junior Bobby Felmy followed with an infield single. Boss struck out rookie Josh Morris before Jacobs’ ball was misplayed on the infield, allowing Smith to come across with the tying run. Derek Smith smashed a hard single that caromed off junior shortstop Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) into left center, scoring Felmy with the go-ahead run. Wyatt’s RBI grounder plated Jacobs and Keen launched a double to result in the Dawgs’ fourth run of the frame.

Sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) and freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) drew consecutive walks in the fifth for UF against Hyle but were left stranded when the hurler retired senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) on a grounder.

A sacrifice fly by Leclerc in the sixth narrowed Florida’s deficit to 4-2. Sophomore Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) started the inning by poking his sixth double of the campaign and Davis punched his second single of the game up the middle to give the visitors two runners aboard. Although sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was given new life when catcher Derek Smith dropped his foul pop-up behind the plate, Hyle fanned the slugger to complete his evening. The right-hander scattered five hits, registered five strikeouts and allowed two runs over 5.1 innings. Lelcerc greeted Startup with a sacrifice fly to center field to narrow the gap to 4-2 before the southpaw retired Tordi.

The Red and Black added an insurance run in the seventh on a bases-loaded grounder by Josh Smith for a 5-2 advantage. Keen roped a one-out single and Boss plunked sophomore pinch hitter Joey Side. A fielding error on senior Justin Neifer’s fielder’s choice filled the sacks and ended the night for Boss (6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, career-high 7 K). Senior Mike Pete (Brandon, Fla.) came out of the bullpen and had Smith force Neifer at second base but Keen scored UGA’s fifth and final run.

For the Gators, Davis went 2-for-4 but Corsaletti’s nine-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance. Five players accounted for Georgia’s offense, as Keen and Derek Smith (2-for-4) had multiple-hit outings. Game two of the series will be tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Junior Alan Horne (Marianna, Fla.) (1-2, 5.46 ERA) will oppose Bulldog senior Sean Ruthven (1-2, 4.15 ERA).

Game Notes:

  • Brandon McArthur extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-out single in the third. UGA junior Michael Hyle had retired the first eight batters he faced.
  • Brian Leclerc notched an outfield assist in the third inning by gunning down junior Kyle Keen as he attempted to stretch a single into a double.
  • Tommy Boss worked a season-high 6.1 innings, his longest outing since a complete game against UCLA in NCAA Regionals on June 6, 2004.
  • Florida has dropped its last four regular-season games to Georgia.

-UF-

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