March 23, 2002
COLUMBIA, SC – Ryan Shealy had three hits, including a home run, and seven Gators had two hits Saturday as sixth ranked Florida broke open a close game with an eight run ninth inning to defeat fourth ranked South Carolina 14-5 and even a Southeastern Conference baseball series at one game apiece.
The final game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Sunday at Sarge Frye Field. Alex Hart scattered five hits over eight innings and allowed four runs, only three earned, to improve his undefeated record to 7-0. David Marchbanks, 5-2, was charged with the loss.
Florida improved its record to 21-4, 4-1 in the SEC, and South Carolina dropped to 20-4, 3-2.
Florida led 6-4 after eight innings but 12 Gators went to the plate in the ninth inning which produced eight runs on seven hits and two South Carolina errors. Shealy hit his eighth home run of the season with a man on base in the inning. He also drove in a fourth inning run with a sacrifice fly, doubled and scored in the sixth and singled in the seventh inning.
All other Florida hits were singles, two each by Mark Kiger, Mario Garza, Aaron Sobieraj, Matt Goss, Ben Harrison, Pat Osborn and Brian Rose. Jonathan Tucker had one.
South Carolina managed eight hits by eight different players, three of them coming in the ninth inning when the Gamecocks scored once.
South Carolina led 2-0 after two innings. A walk and a double by Steve Thomas produced a first inning score and an unearned run tallied in the second on a walk and two Florida errors. Florida tied it with two in the fourth inning on three hits and the Gators took a 5-2 lead in the sixth on three hits, including Shealy’s double, and an error.
South Carolina, which managed only one hit – the double by Thomas – in the first five innings, scored twice in the sixth on back to back doubles by Brian Buscher and Trey Dyson and a single by Landon Powell to cut the Florida lead to 5-4. Consecutive eighth inning hits by Garza, Sobieraj and Gross added a Florida run in the eighth.
FLORIDA 000 203 018 – 14-18-3
SOUTH CAROLINA 110 002 001 – 5-8-3
Hart, Goldfarb (9) and Rose. Marchbanks, Spigner (6), Campbell (8), Adler (8), Rawl (9) and Powell. W-Hart (7-0). L-Marchbanks (5-2). Save-None. 2B-UF, Shealy, USC, Thomas, Buscher, Dyson, Meyer. HR-UF, Shealy (8).