Gators Deep Six Tigers With Big Inning

Florida continued its strong play in the SEC with a victory over the Tigers on Sunday.

Gainesville, Fla.--For the second game in a row, Florida spotted Auburn an early before overpowering the Tiger pitching staff. The result on Saturday was an 11-8 baseball victory, a seventh straight SEC win for the Gators.

Auburn was unable to recover from a disastrous sixth inning in which the Gators scored nine times to overcome a 4-2 Auburn lead. Because of that the Tigers dropped two games below .500 in league play at 9-11 while Florida improved to 13-7 in the conference.

Auburn, which is 29-16 overall, will try to salvage the final game of the series on Sunday with a noon CST start. The Gators, who are 33-12, will go for the sweep.

Although Auburn had some success against Gator pitching ace Justin Hoyman, he managed to get the win to improve to 9-0 this season. He gave up four runs and six hits in six innings.

Hoyman spotted the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, but Florida rallied for two in the bottom of the inning off of Auburn starter Mike Felix, who pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed two runs and two hits, but he walked five.

AU's two runs in the fifth were unearned. Ben Mailtland started the really with a base on ball and scored when a bunt by Derek Sain was misplayed and the ball thrown into the right field corner. Sain raced to third and scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Williamson.

Florida added its fifth-inning runs on a wild pitch from Felix and a homer from Adam Davis, his sixth of the season, that ended the day on the mound for Felix.

Chuck Jeroloman put the visitors ahead in the top of the sixth inning with a homer, his seventh of the season, in the top of the sixth and the Tigers added another run to make it 4-2. However, the bottom of the inning was big for the Gators. Eight straight batters reached base as John Madden, Michael Nix and Cory Dueitt pitched in the inning.

John Madden

Madden, who suffered the loss to fall to 1-1, gave up five of the runs, four which were earned. He faced eight batters in the inning, but retired just one. Florida loaded the bases with no outs before C.J. Smith scored on a fielding error by second baseman Tug Hulett. Justin Tordi's two RBI single put the Gators into the lead and they never trailed after that on Saturday.

Auburn rallied with four runs in the top of eight inning to close the gap to 11-8 with two runners on base and just one out, but couldn't do any more damage off of reliever Darren O'Day. Jeroloman added a RBI double and Sean Gamble singled in two runs in the Auburn four-run eighth.

"We felt good and were scoring off the best pitcher in the SEC," said Auburn coach Steve Renfroe. "However, we gave up a lead twice for the second consecutive game and you can't do that on the road against a good team. It turned quickly in the sixth with walks and a hit batter. We battled back and I thought we had a real good chance, but Florida was able to get outs when they needed to."

Jeff Corsaletti was the top hitter in the game with three hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in. Gamble and Jeroloman each had a pair of hits for the Tigers, who had 11 in the game to just eight for Florida.

Josh Bell will take the mound for the Tigers on Sunday. Bell, who is 2-1, will face right-hander Bryan Ball, who is 5-1 this season.

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