Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TULANE 7, FLORIDA 4; UF Bullpen Can't Break Green Wave Tulane's Rally in Seventh Sends Gators to an NCAA-Opening Loss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TULANE 7, FLORIDA 4; UF Bullpen Can't Break Green Wave Tulane's Rally in Seventh Sends Gators to an NCAA-Opening Loss

Article excerpt

Byline: BOB THOMAS

TALLAHASSEE -- Tulane's bullpen did what Florida's could not in Friday's NCAA regional opener at Dick Howser Stadium, and now the Gators are facing elimination one game into their first postseason appearance since 2005.

The third-seeded Green Wave scored six runs in the seventh inning to erase a three-run deficit, then made it stand up in a 7-4 victory.

Tulane relievers Nick Pepitone and Rob Segedin combined for 3 2/3 innings of one-hit relief to finish the job.

"We played as close to a complete game today as we could play," said Tulane coach Rick Jones. "Except for one play, we played really well defensively. We had a lot of quality at-bats ... and I thought our short game was really special and had a lot to do with the win."

So did the implosion of Florida sophomore pitcher Billy Bullock, who relieved starter Stephen Locke in the seventh with two runners aboard and the second-seeded Gators in front 4-1. Roughed up in the SEC Tournament, Bullock was making just his second relief appearance since early March.

The Green Wave (38-20-1) went right to work. Scott Powell dropped down a bunt single to load the bases before Bullock threw the first of two run-scoring wild pitches. Anthony Scelfo and Seth Henry followed with RBI singles, tying the game. A walk and a wild pitch later and Tulane was in front.

"If you look at the hits we gave up, they were on hitters' counts," said Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "We got into too many deep counts. When you get into those fastball counts, those balls seem to find holes."

There was little offense from either side early on as Locke and Tulane All-American Shooter Hunt hooked up in a pitchers' duel. Locke limited the Green Wave to a run on eight hits through six innings, striking out three without a walk.

"Stephen pitched well enough to win," said O'Sullivan, who sensed Locke was tiring in the heat after yielding a pair of singles to start the seventh. …

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