Alabama Baseball Falls To Florida

Florida junior left-hander Stephen Locke fired a complete-game, seven-hitter in leading the No. 22 Gators to a 6-2 win over Alabama at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Alabama and Florida close out this three-game series with a 1:05 p.m. (CDT) game Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The game will be regionally televised by CSS Sports, with Chris Stewart and Scott McClanahan. The Tide will send junior right hander Robert Phares (2-3, 5.91 ERA) the mound against Florida right-hander Patrick Keating (8-0, 3.22 ERA). The Tide will celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday as all the player's mothers will throw out the first pitch.

Locke (4-2) held the Crimson Tide to six singles and one double and allowed only nine bases runners in the complete-game effort. He needed only 93 pitches and threw 65 strikes as the Gators evened the Southeastern Conference series. At one point, he set down nine straight Alabama hitters.

Florida owns sole possession of fourth place in the SEC standings with a 30-19 overall record and 14-12 mark in league play. Alabama drops into a fifth-place tie with Kentucky, Ole Miss and South Carolina with a 29-23 overall record and 13-13 mark in SEC play.

"He was really good," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "Give him all the credit. He pitched very well today. He was a soft-tossing left-hander that threw strikes and got ahead of the hitters. He did a really nice job."

The Gators out-hit the Crimson Tide 12-7 and had a pair of three-hit games from Brandon McArthur and Matt den Dekker. Junior Alex Kubal led the Tide with two hits.

Florida struck for two runs on four hits in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead as Alabama played catch-up the rest of the game.

McArthur lined a one-out double to left-center and scored on Josh Adams two-out single to right center field to put the Gators up 1-0. den Dekker and Jon Townsend followed with back-to-back base hits; with Townsend's single to right scoring Adams from third base, as UF took a 2-0 lead.

Alabama cut the lead in half with run in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Alex Kubal lined a one-out single to left for the Tide's first hit of the game. Kubal was picked off first base, but was able to get back to the bag when Townsend muffed the throw at second base. Ross Wilson followed with a single to right field to send Kubal to third and Wilson took second on the throw back into the infield. Kubal scored when Locke uncorked a wild pitch to make it 2-1.

Teddy Foster's one-out home run in the top of the fourth inning gave the Gators a 3-1 lead.

Alabama starter Austin Hyatt (3-4) allowed three runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings and was charged with the loss.

The Gators tacked on another two-our run in the fifth as Bryson Barber stroked a double to left to score den Dekker as the Gators took a 4-1 lead.

Alabama got one run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Kyle Moore led off the inning with a single and scored on Kubal's one-out double to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Florida benefitted from two Alabama errors in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-2 and Riley Cooper added a ninth-inning RBI single to make the final 6-2.

The only suspense in the game came in the eighth inning when freshman Josh Rutledge, who had been hitless in his first three at-bats, reached on an infield single to extend his hitting streak to 28 games. The 28-game hitting streak is the third-longest in Crimson Tide history. The 28-game hitting streak is the longest in school history by a freshman, breaking David Magadan's school-record 27-game hitting streak in 1981.

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