Florida hosted the Crimson Tide over the weekend and sent them back to Tuscaloosa with a trifecta of losses. With the series sweep, the Gators improved to 20-10 on the season and 4-5 in conference play.
Sophomore pitcher, Tommy Mace hurled the first complete game of his career on Friday night and it was a beauty. In six of the nine innings he pitched, Mace faced the minimum number of batters and tallied seven k’s.
A low scoring affair, the Gators Jacob Young was the first to reach home after stealing third and then scoring on a groundout from Nelson Maldonaldo. Alabama managed to even things up in the third when Kolby Robinson drove T.J. Reeves in with a two-out single.
Florida regained the lead and closed out the scoring in the fifth inning. Back to back singles by Brady McConnell and Nelson Maldonaldo were enough to bring in Jacob Young for a run. McConnell took advantage of Kendrick Calilao’s RBI groundout to score what would be the final run of a 3-1 ball game.
The bats were hot in game two as the Gators ran away with a 12-3 win. In total, the Gators offense recorded sixteen hits and five homeruns on Saturday, while clinching the series.
Brady McConnell opened things up with a solo blast to left field, putting the reptiles up 1-0 in the bottom of the first. Not to be outdone, at least not yet, Alabama responded with a solo homer of their own to tie things up in the second.
Florida continued its offensive exhibition in the third when Jacob Young went yard and regained the lead. Nelson Maldonaldo followed suit by cranking a two-run shot which was followed by Wil Dalton’s single serve moonshot.
In the fourth inning, Jacob Young drove in a pair of runners with a single to right center, extending the lead.
Maldonaldo, Calilao, and Dalton each hit doubles in the seventh, driving in two more runs in the process. Maldonaldo’s double was his tenth of the season and leads all Gators.
Brady McConnell launched a two-run bomb in the eighth inning, his second homer of the night. Kris Armstrong closed out the scoring with an RBI double.
Christian Scott earned the win, pitching 4.2 innings, allowing one hit and five strikeouts. He improved to 3-1 on the season.
The Gators bullpen was rock solid in this series and that included freshman Hunter Ruth’s game three outing. Ruth pitched 7.2 innings leading Florida to a 6-3 win, his first career victory.
After trailing early, Florida scored six straight runs to secure the win. An RBI double by Austin Langworthy and a sac fly from Brady Smith gave Kevin O’Sullivan’s club a 2-1 advantage.
Langworthy extended that lead with a homerun in the fourth and the score remained until the eighth inning. The Gators recorded four singles to increase their lead to 6-1. Alabama closed the gap ever so slightly when T.J. Reeves went yard on a two-run homer as the pinch hitter.
Ruth filled in masterfully for starter Jack Leftwich, who exited the game in the second inning due to a blister. The 7.2 innings pitched is a career high for Ruth and he allowed just one run on four hits.
Ruth averaged less than three (2.93) pitches per batter on Sunday afternoon.
Florida will take on Floirda A&M in midweek action on Tuesday. The first pitch is set for 6:02 PM. The Gators will then travel to Oxford, Mississippi to face the Rebel of Ole Miss in conference play from Friday to Sunday.