No. 2 Florida downs Georgia to take series, 4-1
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Sophomore Alex Faedo tossed 5.2 scoreless innings and junior Peter Alonso belted a two-run homer as No. 2 Florida notched a 4-1 victory over Georgia on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
In taking the final two games of the series, the Gators (36-6/13-5 SEC) have claimed eight of their nine series with the Bulldogs (21-20/7-11 SEC) under Kevin O'Sullivan. Faedo (8-1) yielded two hits and totaled six strikeouts to earn the win, while UF's trio of starters allowed one run over 21.1 innings this weekend and registered 22 strikeouts.
With the Bulldogs down by four runs in the ninth, senior Daniel Nichols led off with a double into right center, junior Stephen Wrenn walked and freshman TJ Talley reached on a fielding error to load the bases with none out. Junior Shaun Anderson replaced junior Dane Dunning (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) and freshman Patrick Sullivan had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly into right field to score Nichols. Anderson responded with consecutive strikeouts to secure the series victory and collect his ninth save.
Alonso (2-for-4, two runs) put Florida on top with a two-run homer to straightaway center field in the first inning. Sophomore Dalton Guthrie led off with a single into right field and was sacrificed over by freshman Deacon Liput. A fly ball by sophomore JJ Schwarz moved Guthrie to third and Alonso connected on his team-leading ninth homer off of sophomore Bo Tucker (3-4). It marked the third straight day that the Gators scored in the opening frame.
UF increased its lead to 3-0 in the second on a two-out infield single by junior Ryan Larson (2-for-3) that brought across freshman Jonathan India. India had drawn a leadoff walk, gone to second on a passed ball and taken third on a wild pitch.
Back-to-back doubles with two down resulted in a 4-0 lead in the third inning for the hosts. Tucker set down the first two Gators before Alonso doubled to center and junior Buddy Reed (2-for-4) followed with a two-bagger to nearly the same spot to drive in his teammate.
Although Georgia put its first two runners aboard in the fifth, Faedo escaped the jam unscathed. Nichols was hit by a pitch and Wrenn drew a walk but then Faedo had Talley fly out to right, struck out sophomore Mitchell Webb and had senior Nick King pop up in foul territory.
The Bulldogs threatened again in the sixth, as junior Trevor Kieboom walked and sophomore Keegan McGovern singled with one down. A fielder's choice by freshman Michael Curry erased McGovern at second base and brought junior Kirby Snead into the game for Faedo (5.2 IP, 2 H, 6 K, 2 BB). Making his SEC-best 26th appearance, the southpaw struck out Nichols to strand the runners.
King opened the eighth with a base-hit and Weber flew out to left field before Kieboom singled through the left side. After Snead (2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K) struck out McGovern, Dunning had a grounder by Curry force Kieboom to end the frame.