tampabay.com

The 10th inning

By wire services
Published June 25, 2005


INJURY UPDATE

Florida junior Alan Horne, above, who hurt his left hamstring Thursday, remains day to day, coach Pat McMahon said Friday. McMahon said Horne caught his cleat as he delivered a pitch. "We let him sleep in a little bit," McMahon said. "I know he wants to do everything he can to get back. That remains to be seen. At this point, I'm not sure (he'll be back this weekend)."

ELITE COMPANY

Florida's sports information department dug up a gem of a stat. Florida will become only the third school to appear in a baseball, men's basketball and football final during a 10-year span:

FLORIDA (1995-2005): Lost 1995 Fiesta Bowl to Nebraska. Won 1996 Sugar Bowl against Florida State. Lost in basketball to Michigan State in 2000. Facing Texas in baseball in 2005.

OHIO STATE (1960-70): Beat Cal in basketball in 1960. Lost in basketball to Cincinnati in 1961 and 1962. Lost in baseball to Arizona State in 1965. Beat Oklahoma State in baseball in 1966. Won 1969 Rose Bowl against Southern Cal (1968 season).

OKLAHOMA (1947-57): Lost in basketball to Holy Cross in 1947. Lost 1951 Sugar Bowl to Kentucky (but won title because voting was before bowl games). Beat Tennessee in baseball in 1951. Lost 1954 Orange Bowl to Maryland (1953 season). Won 1956 Orange Bowl against Maryland (1955 season). Won 1956 football title (but did not play in postseason because teams were prohibited from bowl appearances in consecutive seasons).

OKLAHOMA (1985-95): Won 1986 Orange Bowl against Penn State (1985 season). Lost 1988 Orange Bowl to Miami (1987 season). Lost in basketball to Kansas in 1988. Beat Georgia Tech in baseball in 1994.

TRUE LONG BALL

Mark LaPorta's homer Thursday has generated considerable interest. It went higher than the scoreboard and landed in a parking lot beyond the leftfield bleachers. "I hit it good, but I've hit others farther," a smiling LaPorta said. Texas coach Augie Garrido said he was impressed. "It burned up on re-entry," he said. "He launches things like NASA wishes they could."

ROOTING INTEREST

For whom will the fans in attendance root for? Conference loyalty might take precedence because Texas is a member of the Big 12 with Nebraska. But after losing last year's final to Cal State Fullerton, Texas angered fans by not returning to the field to accept their runnerup trophy. Turns out, ESPN analyst Harold Reynolds said, the network should be blamed because it wanted to get on to other programming, leading to a miscommunication.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nebraska junior third baseman Alex Gordon won the Golden Spikes Award, sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players' Association.

SCHEDULE

GAME 1: 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPN, 620-AM

GAME 2: 3 p.m. Sunday, ESPN, 620-AM, 1010-AM

GAME 3: 7 p.m. Monday, ESPN, 620-AM, 1010-AM (if necessary)