Gators Finish Job, Sweeping Alabama

What has been a promising season, in which the Alabama baseball team has been ranked among the nation's top 10 teams and the leader of the Southeastern Conference for much of the year, now appears to be in crash and burn mode.

No. 12 Alabama suffered its first sweep of the season after the Crimson Tide fell 13-3 to the fifth-ranked Florida Gators in a Sunday afternoon Southeastern Conference matchup at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With this weekend's result, Alabama sits at 30-18 overall and 13-11 in the SEC, while the Gators move to 33-15 overall and 18-6 in league play.

"Overall it was a disappointing weekend for us," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Credit Florida a lot, they played three really flawless ball games and they were outstanding in every phase this weekend. "On our side, they jumped on Jon (Keller) in the early part of the game and got the score up to five to nothing and really we were kind of chasing our tail from there. We put a couple of good swings on the ball in the middle part of the game and they didn't get down for us. They really beat us in every phase of the game."

Jon Keller (5-2) was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on six hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Offensively, Alabama went over 10 hits for the 27th time this season, getting two hits from Wade Wass, Kyle Overstreet, and Casey Hughston. Ben Moore tied his career-best hitting streak with a base hit for the 13th consecutive game.

The winning pitcher for Florida was Kirby Snead (2-0) who got a pair of outs in the fifth inning. Florida starting pitcher Karsten Whitson held Alabama to one run despite allowing seven hits and two walks in four-plus innings. Peter Alonso led the Gators at the plate with four RBI on three hits, including a double and a home run. Harrison Bader and Ryan Larson had three-hit performances for Florida.

For the third straight game, Florida opened the scoring, getting a run in the second inning on a Mike Fahrman double to the corner in left to allow Braden Mattson to score. The Gators tacked on four more in the third, with Bader and Taylor Gushue driving in a run each on a single and a sacrifice fly, respectively. Alonso knocked in the final two on a double off the left field wall to give the Gators a 5-0 lead.

Alabama got a run back in the bottom of the frame. Sandwiched between two outs, Salem set the table with a single through the right side. Wass moved him to second on a single through the left side, and Overstreet followed with a single to right to drive Salem in and cut the lead to 5-1.

Alonso drove in two more Gator runs in the latter stages of the game, one on a single to right center in the fifth, and the other on a line drive solo home run in the seventh. Alabama responded in the bottom half of the inning with an Overstreet RBI double to the left-center gap and a Smith sacrifice fly to make it a 7-3 game.

The next three runs of the game for the Gators came in the eighth with Richie Martin providing the first on an RBI single. On a single to left from Bader, John Sternagel scored from third and Martin was able to advance home from second on the relay. Florida added three more runs in the ninth on RBI singles from Ryan Larson and A.J. Puk and a Martin fielder's choice to cap a 13-3 ballgame.

Alabama returns to action on Tuesday night when it hosts the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama Game Notes *After 109 games played between the two schools, Alabama dropped to 55-54 all-time against Florida.

*The Tide moved to 19-9 in games played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season.

*With a seventh inning single, Ben Moore pushed his hitting streak to 13 games, tying a career-best mark, while also reaching base in 15 straight games.

*With a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, Casey Hughston recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season.

*Wade Wass recorded his 16th multi-hit game of the season after a 2-for-2 day at the plate.

*With a 2-for-4 game, Kyle Overstreet picked up his 17th multi-hit game of the season and 34th of his career.

*Overstreet posted his sixth multi-RBI game of the season and the 14th of his career.

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