Tide stymied by Gator pitcher

GAINESVILLE -- Sophomore right-hander Justin Hoyman needed less than 100 pitches and a little more than two hours to lead the No. 21 Florida Gators to a 6-1 win over the No. 14 Alabama Crimson Tide.

That combination proved to be a long day for the Crimson Tide offense, which produced only one run and two singles and was held hitless over the final 6 2/3 innings.

After posting eight runs and 17 hits in the opener, Alabama was held in check all afternoon by the Florida right-hander. The Cocoa Beach, Fla., owns both complete games this season for the Gators as he limited Alabama to one run and two hits. Hoyman (4-1) also added eight strikeouts and walked only one batter in the win.

"He pitched very well," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "He threw more than one pitch for strike, was able to locate and when he did fall behind in the count he was able to get something over other than the fastball. He did it all today. He was outstanding."

Florida (18-6-1, 1-3-1 SEC) got all the offense it would need in the bottom of the first inning off losing pitcher Brent Carter, who saw his personal four-game winning streak come to an end.

The Gators took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out, two-run double to right-center field by Brian Rose. Jonathan Tucker and Ben Harrison, who had both singled in the inning, scored on Rose's double. Rose's double was Florida's first extra base hit of the series.

The two-run double also marked the first time in 36 2/3 innings that Carter had trailed in a game for the Crimson Tide. He last trailed in his first start of the season against No. 13 Houston, leaving the game with a 0-1 deficit in the 5th inning in an eventual 7-2 loss.

UF extended its lead to 3-0 in the third inning when Jake Riordan was credited with a two-out base hit on ball misplayed by third baseman Evan Bush and later scored on a double by Brett Dowdy.

Alabama (18-3, 4-1 SEC) scored an unearned run off Hoyman in the third inning its only run of the game. Travis Garner extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a one-out single and then stole second with two outs in the inning to set up the only run.

Adam Pavkovich reached when UF center fielder Jake Riordan dropped a fly ball on the warning track, allowing Garner to score from second base.

The Crimson Tide offense was stymied after that and did not record another hit the remainder of the game against Hoyman.

Hoyman retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced, with the lone base runner coming on a strikeout wild pitch in the seventh inning. After Al Hecklinski reached on the wild pitch, Hoyman retired the final eight batters.

Alabama was retired in order in the fifth inning on four pitches and went in order in the sixth inning on seven pitches.

"It was pretty tough today," Wells added. "They jumped on us early in the game, but we thought at 3-1 we still had a shot to win, but as went along with us only accumulating two hits when they put those extra runs it was pretty tough for us.

"We did nothing all day offensively that I can recall to give us a chance to have an inning of any sorts."

Meanwhile the Gators extended their lead in the sixth inning with two more runs off Carter. C.J. Smith rolled an infield single to short and took second on a Harrison's single to right field, his second base hit of the game.

After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Rose collected his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Smith from third base. Jeff Corsaletti followed with a double to left field, scoring Harrison from third base to give the Gators a 5-1 lead.

Carter, who retired 10 in a row at one point in the game, gave up six runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings suffering his second loss of the season. He added four strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

The Gators chased him in the seventh inning with back-to-back one out singles by Dowdy and Tucker.

Seth Johnson retired the five of the six batters he faced - allowing only a one-out double in the eighth to Corsaletti. The right-hander added one strikeout and his lone wild pitch allowed Dowdy to score from third base in the seventh inning to cap the scoring.

The series concludes with a Noon (ET) game on Sunday. Both teams were undecided on their starting pitcher after Saturday's game.


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