No. 24 Tide get revenge to split pair vs. No. 5 Gators
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Alabama baseball split a doubleheader with the second-ranked Florida Gators on Friday at Condron Family Ballpark. With the split, the Crimson Tide is now 17-4 on the season and 1-2 in Southeastern Conference play.
Florida was able to mount a late comeback for an 8-7 walkoff win in game one. That victory secured the series for the Gators. Alabama did not lay down, however, earning a 6-3 win in the finale.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
"I was incredibly proud of our team. Both starters today - and really all three of our starters this weekend - gave us a chance to get a win. We also pitched well out of the bullpen. The park played really offensive today in the first game and they took more advantage of the wind howling out than we did. To get walked off in a tough one, but then to come out and score three against one of the best pitchers in the country, I think that says a lot about our club."
Alabama fell, 8-7, in game one. The two teams traded runs all afternoon with the Tide jumping out front early thanks to a three-run first. Florida then used the wind to its advantage as a high fly ball caught the wind and sailed over the wall in right to tie things up after one full.
The Tide crossed one apiece in the second and fifth to make it a 5-3 ballgame, but UF evened things up with one in the fifth and one in the sixth. Alabama moved back in front with a run in the seventh and was matched again with a single Gator tally. The Tide regained the lead again in the top of the eighth thanks to a Colby Shelton home run but a two-run ninth helped Florida walk it off.
Alabama's offense was led by Drew Williamson. The graduate finished 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, five RBI and one run scored. Shelton also added a home run as part of his 1-for-3 day that included an RBI, one run scored and a hit-by-pitch. Philip Abner (1-0) picked up the win while Riley Quick (0-1) suffered the loss.
How It Happened
T1 | Jim Jarvis led things off with a walk before a Will Hodo single put two on. Drew Williamson came to the plate one out later, sending a ball over the wall in left-center for a three-run home run. (3-0, Alabama)
B1 | BT Riopelle hit a high fly ball that carried over the wall in right for a three-run homer. (3-3)
T2 | Caden Rose reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second one out later on a Jarvis single. A single in the next at-bat from Hodo went deep in the hole on the right side and hit off the glove of the diving second baseman, with the ball skirting away from defenders and allowing Rose to score from second. (4-3, Alabama)
T5 | Williamson tacked on one more with a two-out double to right-center. He scored Hodo, who walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. (5-3, Alabama)
B5 | A solo home run from Cade Kurland cut the lead to one. (5-4, Alabama)
B6 | Josh Rivera led off with a solo home run to make it a tie ballgame. (5-5)
T7 | Hodo singled and moved to second on a single by Andrew Pinckney. Williamson continued his hot streak with an RBI-single to left-center to help the Tide regain the lead. (6-5, Alabama)
B7 | A leadoff double and sacrifice bunt put a man at third for UF before a single to right tied things up. (6-6)
T8 | Colby Shelton put the Crimson Tide back in front with a solo home run. (7-6, Alabama)
B9 | Colby Halter homered to lead off the inning. The Gators then advanced a runner to third with a swinging bunt in the next at-bat allowing the game-winning run to cross. (8-7, Florida)
- Ben Hess tossed a career-high 6.1 innings in his start. The sophomore's previous high was 6.0, which he had on two previous occasions and most recently against Richmond on Feb. 18.
- Hess' 96 pitches are a new career-high total. The most he had thrown in a start prior to today was 89 last week against Columbia.
- The eight strikeouts by Hess tied his season-best mark. He also had eight punchouts against UIC on March 4.
- Drew Williamson tied his career-best mark for RBI with five in game one. He also had five at Ole Miss on April 9 of last season.
- Ed Johnson's hitting streak ended at six games. Over the streak, Johnson batted .444 (8-18) with a triple, home run, seven RBI, two runs, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Alabama bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to start day, claiming a 6-3 win in the series finale with the Gators.
The Tide put up three in the first with UF countering for two in the home half. Alabama then added one in the second before the teams went scoreless until the seventh when the Gators made it a one-run affair thanks to a single tally. The Tide went to the eighth looking for insurance and got it by way of a two-run home run from Caden Rose.
Grayson Hitt (3-1) got the win, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and four walks with five punchouts. Hitt turned the ball over to his bullpen with Zane Probst and Kade Woods limiting the Gators' top-ranked offense over the final 3.1 frames. Woods picked up his first save of the season, striking out all seven of the batters he faced to secure the win for the Tide.
How It Happened
T1 | With two on, Drew Williamson singled to right to score the game's first run. After a groundout moved everyone up 90 feet, a passed ball allowed the man from third to score. One out later, Andrew Pinckney singled to plate Williamson. (3-0, Alabama)
B1 | Josh Rivera homered with a man on to cut the lead to one. (3-2, Alabama)
T2 | Tommy Seidl sent a home run over the wall in left for a solo shot. (4-2, Alabama)
B7 | Three consecutive one-out singles brought a run in for the Gators. (4-3, Alabama)
T8 | Pinckney reached on an error which would prove costly, as Rose followed him one out later with a two-run no-doubter over the wall in left to add two insurance runs. (6-3, Alabama)
- Alabama has totaled double-digit hits 16 times this season, including both games of today's doubleheader.
- The Tide has homered in 19 games this season, including two home runs apiece in each game of Friday's twinbill.
- Ed Johnson has reached base safely in 18 straight games dating back to Feb. 18.
- Will Hodo's reached base streak ended at 17 games. The streak dated back to Feb. 18 and ran through game one of today's doubleheader.
Alabama will now return home for a midweek contest against UAB on Tuesday, March 21. The Crimson Tide and Blazers are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with the game airing on SEC Network+.