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Gainesville, Florida

Gators top Wildcats in 12-8 slugfest

521 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

WHAT HAPPENED: Florida beat Kentucky 12-8 on Sunday to win the series against the Wildcats.

It was a back-and-forth affair on until Christian Scott took the mound in the fifth inning for the Gators. He got the final out of the fifth and kept the Wildcats off the board for the final four innings.

Florida scored in the first on a two-run homer from Nelson Maldonado, his second of the weekend, but Kentucky tied it with a home run of their own in the second.

The Gators scored four in the second inning to take a 6-2 lead. Austin Langworthy had a two-run triple and scored on a single from Maldonado.

Kentucky cut into the lead with a pair of runs in the third, but Florida tacked on two runs in the fourth on Brady Smith's two-run homer to left to make it 8-4.

The Wildcats tied the game with four runs in the fifth inning. The Gators responded again and scored four unanswered runs to make it 12-8. In the fifth, McConnell had a RBI single and Langworthy had a sac fly to make it 10-8.

In the sixth inning, a RBI groundout from Cory Acton added another run and Jacob Young doubled home a run to make it 12-8.

Scott closed out the game and earned his fifth win of the year.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Nelson Maldonado - The senior captain went 2-for-4 on Sunday with a home run and three RBI. In 12 career games against Kentucky, Maldonado is 18-for-44 (.409) with five home runs and 17 RBI.

STANDOUT STAT: 4.1 - Christian Scott pitched 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Gators. On the season, he leads the team with a 1.37 earned run average out of the bullpen (4 ER in 26.1 IP).

FROM THE COACH: Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan - On Christian Scott's performance: "The freshmen have just been a little bit inconsistent, so for him to bounce back and throw like that for the last four-plus innings was big for us. We just needed somebody to put a zero on the board. Three different times during the game we scored then went back out and gave up some runs. We've been talking about that a lot this year, when our offense scores we've got to go out and put a zero on the board. Christian was able to do that."

UP NEXT: Florida heads to Athens, Ga., next week for a three-game series at Georgia. Friday's opener starts at 7 p.m. on SEC Network+ and will broadcast on the Gators Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell on the call.