Trip to Florida No Vacation For the Tigers

The baseball Tigers were swept in a three-game road trip by the home-standing Gators.

Gainesville, Fla.--The pitching staff, normally the strength of the 2004 Auburn baseball team, got off to a slow start and slipped from bad to worse during a three-game series at McKethan Field.

On Sunday it got ugly as the Florida Gators completed their sweep of the Southeastern Conference series with a 22-8 pounding of the Tigers.

Auburn fell to 9-12 in the SEC and 29-17 overall. The Gators improved to 14-7 in the conference and 34-12 overall. The Tigers are off until Friday when they begin an SEC series vs. visiting South Carolina.

Auburn gave up seven runs in a Friday night loss to the Gators. Florida increased its run production total to 11 in Saturday's game two and then doubled that on Sunday as the Gators pounded seven Auburn pitchers for 23 hits. Auburn had a good day at the plate, too, with 14 hits and hit the ball hard off of all four Florida pitchers it faced.

As was the case with the opening two games of the series, Auburn scored the first runs. This time it was three in the top of the first inning.

J.T. Williamson led off with a single to center to begin the inning and Clete Thomas and Josh Bell came through with RBI hits. Thomas drove home one with an infield hit off the pitcher's glove and Bell made it 3-0 with a double to left.

J.T. Williamson

The lead didn't last long as the Gators scored four runs in their first trip to the plate.

A one-out walk to Adam Davis started the rally. C.J. Smith drove him home with a double and then a two-run homer by Ben Harrison tied the game at 3-3.

Florida took the lead when Jeff Corsaletti bounced a double over the fence and scored on a single by Stephen Barton.

Auburn regained the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning and chased starting pitcher Bryan Ball. Sean Gamble led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. Tug Hulett singled and Chuck Jeroloman loaded the bases with another single. That brought reliever Adam Sanabria into the game for Florida.

Thomas pushed home the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center and Bell made the score 5-3 with a groundout to the shortstop. The Gators then got Ben Maitland to hit a grounder to second to end the threat.

The Gators chased Auburn starting pitcher Bell and took a commanding lead in the bottom of the third. The rally started with a base on balls to Smith and was followed by a pair of singles by Harrison and Corsaletti to tie the game at 5-5. Steve Renfroe then replaced Bell with Chris Dennis, who struggled, too.

The reliever walked Barton and then allowed a two-RBI single to Justin Tordi to make the score 7-5. Brian Jerolman's one-out RBI single increased the margin to 8-5 and he scored on a passed ball later in the inning to stretch the lead to 9-5.

Renfroe went to the bullpen for a second time in the inning with the Tigers down 11-5. Jared Shore recorded the third out to end the threat, but his wild pitch sent home the seventh run of the inning to give the home team a 12-5 edge.

Kyle Mayo

Auburn added a run in the fourth inning on a double by Kyle Mayo and a single by Gamble. However, Florida responded with five in the bottom of the inning.

Corsaletti led off with his fourth homer of the season. A single by Barton followed by a double by Tordi chased Shore, who was replaced by AU's ace closer, Steven Register. However, the right-hander struggled, too. He walked Brian Jeroloman when he entered the game and allowed a pair of singles, another walk and a two RBI double to Corsaletti as Auburn trailed 18-6 by the end of the inning.

The Tigers opened the fifth inning with a homer to left by Chuck Jeroloman, his second of the series and eighth of the year. Thomas followed with a single and scored with two outs on a single by Derek Sain that ended the day for Sanabria, who was replaced by Mike Pete. He struck out Kyle Mayo to retire the side and AU was still down by 10 runs.

John Madden, Auburn's fifth pitcher of the day, entered the game to start the bottom of the sixth inning. He didn't fare any better than his teammates. He allowed four hits and three runs in his one inning of work as Florida increased the lead to 21-8.

After the Tigers couldn't score in the top of the seventh, Mike Nix got the pitching call in the bottom half of the inning. He allowed one run, but avoided even bigger problems with a 6-4-3 double play to escape from a bases loaded jam.

Renfroe went to the bullpen again to start the eighth inning and Florida didn't add to its lead against Colby Paxton.

"They pounded us," Renfroe said. "It was a simple story. Every time we scored, they scored and scored often. We couldn't stop the bleeding and that's something we're going to have to address quickly."

Auburn was swept in a three-game SEC series for the first time since losing at Alabama in 2002.

Chuck Jeroloman led the Tigers with three hits and Mayo and Thomas had two apiece. They will concentrate on final exams this week prior to the weekend series vs. South Carolina.

Harrison and Coraletti each had four hits and four RBI for the Gators while Tucker added four hits and one RBI.

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