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SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007
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COLLEGE BASEBALL
Belcher's hit ensures win for Tide baseball

The Associated Press

Brandon Belcher had a two-run single in the eighth inning to help Alabama secure an 8-5 come-from-behind victory over Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., on Friday night.

Alabama (17-8, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) scored five runs in the eighth inning to erase a three-run deficit, and pick up its first road win of the 2007 season.

The Crimson Tide trailed 5-2 heading into the eighth inning before putting five straight runners on base against Ole Miss (16-9, 1-3 SEC) starter Will Kline and closer Scott Bittle to take a two-run lead.

Alabama added an insurance run in the ninth inning off lefty Craig Rodriguez when Emeel Salem singled and later scored when freshman catcher Jared Avchen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Ole Miss made it a 5-2 game in the seventh when Zach Miller singled to left to lead off then inning and scored on a two-out wild pitch by sophomore left-hander Miers Quigley. Quigley, who left the game after a two-out walk to Justin Henry, allowed five runs and eight hits with one walk and one strikeout in his first SEC road start.

The three-run lead was not enough as the Tide sent 17 batters to the plate in the last two innings for the comeback win.

The two teams will meet in game two of this three-game SEC series Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Florida 8, Auburn 7, 10 innings: Freshman Cole Figueroa snapped a 7-7 tie with a two-out RBI single in the 10th to lift Florida to a victory over No. 21 Auburn in front of 3,187 fans at Plainsman Park.

Senior Chris Dennis started the 10th for the Tigers (18-7, 0-4) and issued back-to-back walks to freshman Matt den Dekker and junior Jon Townsend. After Leclerc's fielder's choice forced Townsend at second and pushed den Dekker to third, senior Matt LaPorta struck out. Figueroa then ripped Dennis' next pitch through the right side of the infield to give the Gators a one-run edge.

Auburn led 4-2 after Josh Donaldson's double scored a run for the Tigers in the bottom of the third inning.

The Gators rallied and scored five runs on four hits in the fourth inning to seize a 7-4 advantage.

Auburn knotted the game at 7 in the sixth with three runs on three hits.

Freshman Robert Brooks walked with one down and came across the plate on senior Andy Bennett's double. Sophomore pinch-hitter Ben Jones of Decatur earned a free pass, and Eric Skinner and Bruce Edwards ripped consecutive run-scoring singles.

In the eighth, Skinner launched his first career triple into left-center with one out but was stranded on base.

Sophomore right-hander Paul Burnside (4-0, 3.82 ERA) will start for Auburn in Saturday's game at 2 p.m.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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