Florida Completes Sweep Of Tide
Florida (18-8, 6-3 SEC) won all three games in the series for its first sweep over Alabama since the 1994 season.
Alabama (16-10, 3-6 SEC) had overcome a pair of early deficits to tie the game in the fourth inning. The Crimson Tide hit a pair of two-run home runs in the third and fourth innings and finished the game with four home runs, including a solo home run by senior right Kent Matthes, who hit his NCAA-leading 16th home run in the eighth inning. Alabama has 54 home runs in 26 games this year.
Pisani snapped a 5-5 tie with a wind-blown, home run down the left field line off junior left-hander Del Howell to leadoff the fifth inning to give the Gators a 6-5 lead.
In the sixth, Florida recorded six straight hits and plated four runs to build a 10-5 lead. Pisani started the scoring with a two-run double to put UF in front 8-5. Matt den Dekker followed with an RBI triple and Daniel Pigott capped the inning with an RBI single to left.
Florida right-hander Anthony DeScalfani (2-0) earned the win in relief for UF with 4 1/3 innings out of the pen. He allowed two runs and three hits and fanned two batters. Billy Bullock recorded the final two outs for his seventh save of the year and second of the series,
Howell (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season for Alabama after he was touched for seven runs on eight hits in four-plus innings in his third start of the season.
Florida grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Howell, who needed 39 pitches to retire the Gators. Avery Barnes hit a two-run home run to put the Gators up 2-0. Josh Adams singled and then Howell issued walks to Brandon McArthur and Buddy Munroe to load the bases. Howell was called for a balk with a 0-2 count on Riley Cooper to chase Adams home with the third run.
Alabama answered back with two runs in the top of the second inning on senior catcher Vin DiFazio's fourth home run of the season. The inning started with back-to-back singles by Matthes and May, before a double play sent momentum back to the Gators. Jake Smith flied out to center field and den Dekker gunned down Matthes at third base for the double play. DiFazio battled back from a 0-2 count and ripped a two-run home run to left-center to pull the Tide to within 3-2.
The Gators extended the lead to 5-2 in the second inning on Adams' two-out single to right field to den Dekker and Pigott, who had reached on a hit batter and walk respectively.
Alabama played long ball again in the third inning to cut the lead 5-4. Sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge stroked a one-out single to left and scored on sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson's two-run blast to left-center field. It was Wilson's sixth home run of the season and third in the series against the Gators. He has homered in all three games.
The Crimson Tide pulled even at 5-5 with a run in the fourth inning to chase UF starter Patrick Keating. DiFazio was hit by a pitch and senior DH Tyler Odle followed with a base hit to right to put runners at first and third with one out. Senior center fielder Alex Kubal reached on an error by UF third baseman Brandon McArthur that allowed DiFazio to score the tying run. Freshman left fielder Taylor Dugas extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to left to load the bases with one out.
DeSclafani replaced Keating and retired the next two batters, as UA left the bases loaded. Rutledge struck out and Wilson lined to center field, with den Dekker making a sliding catch to end the inning.
Keating allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings for the Gators. He added two strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Pisani's solo home run snapped the tied in the bottom of the fourth and his two-run double keyed a four-run outburst in the fifth inning as UF built a five-lead.
Alabama narrowed the gap to 10-7 on a pair of solo home runs by Matthes and junior third baseman Jake Smith in the eighth inning.
Dugas led the Tide with three hits and upped his team-leading batting average to .431 on the season.
After playing seven of its last eight games on the road, Alabama opens a 10-game home stand, beginning with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions on Tuesday 6:35 p.m. (CDT). The Crimson will host Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. (CDT).
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