March 9, 2003
Gainesville, Fla. – The University of Florida baseball team knocked
off the number one team in the nation on Sunday as the Gators held on
for a 9-8 victory over Florida State in the final game of a three game
series against the Seminoles. The Gators held a 8-0 lead and held off
the FSU late rally for the victory. The UF win snapped a 16-game
Florida State winning streak.
Gator starter Justin Hoyman struck out the first three Seminole
batters, and the Gators fed off the momentum in the bottom of the inning
to take an early 4-0 advantage. Jonathan Tucker doubled, Mario Garza
singled and Ben Harrison hit a RBI single that scored Tucker before C.J
Smith provided the big blow as he hit a three-run homerun.
Hoyman improved to 3-0 on the season by throwing 5.2 innings and giving
up eight hits and five runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. Junior
Adam Sanabria came on with one out in the eighth and struck out the
final two batters of the inning before retiring the Seminoles in order
in the ninth for the first save of his career.
The winning Florida run came on leadoff hitter Brett Dowdy’s solo
homer in the sixth after FSU cut the deficit to 8-5. Florida found
itself with a comfortable 8-0 lead before the Seminoles bats awoke in
Smith had a monster day at the plate as he finished 2-for-5 with five
RBI while Dowdy and Tucker also finished with two hits each.
The Gators surged came in the third inning with four runs off four
hits. Harrison walked to start the inning. In the next at bat, C.J.
Smith hit his second home run of the game to put the Gators in front
6-0. UF continued the rally as Jeff Corsaletti had an infield single
and scored on a Brian Rose double to center. Tordi’s RBI single scored
Rose to give the Gators an 8-0 lead at the end of three innings.
Florida State struck back in the sixth inning with five runs to bring
the game within three. Tony Richie started the inning with a single.
Jerrod Brown walked and Chris Hart singled to load the bases. Eddy
Martinez-Estevez hit a bases clearing double which scored all three base
runners. Matt Sauls the doubled to left field to score Estevez. In the
next at bat, Stephen Drew singled to score Sauls and bring the score to
Back-to-back home runs by Sauls and Drew in the eighth brought the
Seminoles within the single run, before Sanabria took over and shut down
At the plate for FSU Sauls had three hits and three RBI and Drew had
four hits and drove in a pair. Making his first career start Eddie Cannon took the loss going 2.2 innings and giving up nine hits and eight runs with one walk and one strikeout.