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Friday June 10, 2005Boss Hurls Complete Game, Baseball Slugs Four Home Runs to Take Opener From FSU, 8-1

Gainesville, FL

Before a University of Florida postseason record crowd of 5,250 fans at McKethan Stadium on Friday night, No. 6 Florida (44-20) claimed the opening game of its best-of-three NCAA Super Regional against No. 9 Florida State (53-19) with an 8-1 victory. Senior Tommy Boss (Dunnellon, Fla.) twirled his second-straight compete game and was backed by four homers by the Gators, including three in a row during the fifth inning.

 

Boss (8-4) scattered seven hits in going the distance for the second time in the NCAA Tournament, as the right-hander limited North Carolina to three hits in a 5-2 UF win on June 4. He made his final appearance at McKethan Stadium a memorable occasion by securing the Gatorsí first-ever Super Regional triumph. Boss now has four complete-game efforts in the postseason over the past two years.

 

Florida will send junior Alan Horne (Marianna, Fla.) (8-2, 4.05 ERA) to the hill against junior Mark Sauls (6-1, 3.68 ERA) tomorrow at 7 p.m. The contest will be carried live on ESPN2 as the Orange and Blue looks to punch a ticket to the College World Series for the first time since 1998.

 

Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) provided the Gators with a 1-0 lead in the third with his 10th homer of the season. Sophomore Bryan Henry had not allowed a hit until Corsaletti sent a first-pitch fastball over the right-field wall for his fourth round-tripper of the postseason.

 

The Gators staged a two-out rally in the fourth that yielded three runs to seize a 4-0 margin. Sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a double by freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.). After Henry induced a pop foul by sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.), junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) deposited a bleeder just beyond the mound for a two-run lead. Junior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases before sophomore Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) roped a two-run single into left field for a 4-0 lead. The four runs allowed by Henry were the most he had surrendered in a game this season.

 

Senior Daniel Wardell led off the fifth with his 10th home run into the left-field bleachers to bring FSU within 4-1. However, Jeroloman, McArthur and Leclerc blasted back-to-back-to-back solo homers for a 7-1 cushion in the bottom of the inning. Jeroloman connected on his seventh dinger to right field, McArthur followed with his second four-bagger of the year to left and Leclerc completed the trifecta with his 12th homer off the scoreboard overlooking right field. The last time Florida had swatted three-straight homers in an inning occurred on March 25, 1998, when David Ross, Derek Nicholson and Jason Dill accomplished the feat against Charleston Southern. ††

 

Sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) started the seventh with a base-hit up the middle off junior reliever Hunter Jones. Jeroloman then induced a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. After McArthur grounded into a fielderís choice for the first out of the inning, Leclerc also had a fielderís choice to second base. LaPorta scored on the play making the score 8-1, but as Seminole freshman shortstop Ryne Jernigan tried to finish off a double play, no one covered the bag at first and the throw bounced off the wall down the right-field line. Although Leclerc turned towards second and did not try to advance, first-base umpire Dave Buck allowed Jones to tag out Leclerc on the play to end the frame.

 

Florida State tried to mount a comeback in the ninth inning as it drew a walk and recorded their seventh hit, a line drive by senior Aaron Cheesman up the middle. However, Boss got a ground ball out from freshmanright fielder Jack Rye and then finished off the contest with a strikeout of Wardell.

 

Three UF players registered multiple-hit outings, Corsaletti (2-for-5), Dickey (2-for-4) and McArthur (2-for-4). For the Seminoles, Jernigan led the way with two hits. Henry (9-3) yielded seven hits and seven runs with three strikeouts and a walk. Jones (2.0 IP, two hits, one run) and sophomore Brian Chambers (1.0 IP, one hit, one strikeout) also pitched for the Garnet and Gold.

 

The seven earned runs scored by Florida against Henry equaled the same amount of runs that he allowed in a stretch of 59 innings that ran from April 12 to May 25. Florida State has never advanced to the College World Series after losing the first game of a Super Regional. The seven-run victory by the Gators was the largest margin of defeat the Seminoles have ever experienced in a Super Regional as well.

 

-UF-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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