Gators Come From Behind To Defeat UMass Baseball Squad 7-5
March 5, 2000
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Senior pitcher Travis Veracka (Stow, Mass.) threw six strong innings, giving up just one run on four hits in his senior debut, but the Minutemen bullpen couldn't hold down the Florida offense, giving the Gators a 7-5 win in the finale of a three game series sweep. The Minutemen fall to 0-3 on the season after the loss, while the Gators improve to 10-8 on the year.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Sophomore Mike Kulak (Bristol, Conn.) and sophomore Scott Anderson (Whitinsville, Mass.) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Kulak scored on a groundout, then Anderson was singled in by junior Gavin Clark (Springfield, Mass.). UMass shortstop Aaron Senez (Springfield, Mass.) hit a two-out double, scoring Clark for the third and final UMass run of the inning.
Veracka gave up his only earned run on the day on a one-out solo home run to Gator third baseman Kurt Keene in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Florida rallied for four runs, pulling ahead 5-4 after UMass junior Craig Szado (Monson, Mass.) relieved Veracka to start the seventh inning. Szado walked the leadoff hitter then gave up a two-run home run to Gator outfielder Tim Olson. Florida added two more runs on a two-out double by Mark Kiger.
The Gators added two more on an error by Senez with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Senez threw away a potential force out at second base with the bases loaded, putting Florida up 7-4. The Minutemen rallied in the ninth, but could only get one run across.
Kenny Birch (1-0) earned the win out of the bullepn for Florida, allowing just one run on three hits with four strikeouts over 3.2 innings. He also pitcked up a save in the series opener on Friday. Szado (0-1) took the loss for the Minutemen.
UMass will be back in action on Friday in Tampa, Fla., for a three-game series with the University of South Florda. Friday's game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Massachusetts 300 010 001 - 5 10 3 Florida 000 100 420 - 7 8 0
Veracka, Szado (7), Hourigan (7), Skiranich (8) and Ellerbrook. Smalley, Birch and Socarras. W * Birch (1-0). L * Szado (0-1) S- None. HR * Keene (4), Olson (2). A * 1457. T * 2:40.
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