Gators Force 7th Game with Extra Inning Win

The Florida baseball team (46-18) extended its life on a walk-off home run by Mark Kiger in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat the Miami Hurricanes (32-27) 11-10 in NCAA Regional play at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The win ensures a seventh game for the Regional Championship that will begin at 5 p.m. today.

Miami set the pace of the game in the top of the first inning. With two outs and a runner on, Hurricane catcher Danny Matienzo knocked a home run out in centerfield for the 2-0 lead.

The Gators answered back in the same fashion in the bottom of the second. With only one out and Ben Harrison on first, Aaron Sobieraj knocked one over the left field bleachers to tie the game at two. But the Gators continued where the Canes left off in the first. Jonathan Tucker followed with a bunt single that hugged the third base line. Brian Rose reached base on balls. Mark Kiger grabbed a pitch for a base hit into right field to score Tucker for the lead. Mario Garza was hit by a Troy Roberson pitch to load the bases. Pat Osborn recorded his 100th hit of the season with a double to left field to score Rose and Kiger. Osborn became the second Gator this season and the fourth in school history to record 100 or more hits in a season. Miami pitcher Roberson was replaced by reliever T.J. Prunty. Ryan Shealy set the school record for total bases with his RBI single to score Garza and give the Gators the 6-2 lead. Matienzo's single and third RBI of the day in the third inning helped Miami to another run and narrowed the Gator lead to three runs at 6-3. Miami brought the Florida lead to just one run in the top of the fourth. With one out, Kevin Mannix started a rally with a base hit. Danny Figueroa followed with a bunt single Mannix advanced to third on a Paco Figueroa fly out to right field. Danny Figueroa stole second to out runners on second and third lead as with two outs for Brad Safchik's two RBI single through the left side. Florida was able to keep its 6-5 lead as catcher Rose caught Safchik attempting to steal second for the third out of the inning.

Florida increased its lead to two runs in the fourth. Garza scored on an error by Miami thirdbaseman Kevin Howard for the 7-5 lead.

Sobieraj hit his second home run of the game with a lead off homer to left field in the bottom of the fifth to give Florida a three-run cushion.

Pat Osborn's third hit of the day was a home run just over the wall in left center for a 9-5 Florida lead.

Miami brought Florida's lead back to just three in the top of the eighth. Matt Dryer scored on the Kevin Mannix double down the left field line to make the score 9-6.

Pat Osborn's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to score Mark Kiger took Florida's lead back to four runs at 10-6.

Miami put up a fight in the top of the ninth. With two outs, three straight singles scored Rodriguez to take Florida's lead down to three runs with two runners on. Jim Burt, who was 0-for-4 on the day hit a three run homer to tie the game at 10-10. Keith Ramsey came in to finish the inning for Kevin Coleman.

It looked like Florida would take care of business in the bottom of the inning, but great Miami defense prevented the run. With one out, Sobieraj walked. Tucker followed with a double to left center field and Sabieraj held up at third. Rose walked to load the bases. Jeff Corsaletti pinch hit for Jake Riordan, but hit into a double play to end the inning and send the game into extra innings.

The Gators did their job defensively in the top of the tenth and sat down the batters in order. Lead off batter, Kiger hit the walk off home run on a 1-2 pitch for the 11-10 win.

The last pitcher for each team was the pitcher of record. George Huguet took the loss for Miami. His record moves to 6-4. Keith Ramsey got the win for Florida. His record improves to 10-3.

The two teams face off again at 5 p.m. today for the Regional championship. The winner will advance to play the winner of the regional in South Carolina in next weekend's best of three Super Regional.

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