No. 11/9/5 Alabama used two Gator errors and a 9-inning pitching performance from starter Lance Cormier to defeat No. 6/5/7 Florida 4-1 Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The loss drops Florida to 24-8 overall and 6-4 in the SEC while Alabama is now 26-6 overall and 7-3 in the SEC.
Florida has now played its first 10 SEC contests against nationally ranked teams. With the win, Alabama won its 24th straight home game. Game two of the three-game series is Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
Cormier (8-0) struck out eight of his 35 batters faced and allowed just six hits and one run. Cormier retired 14 straight batters from the fourth through eighth innings in registering his school record 28th career victory. Cormier threw 118 pitches.
Florida starter Jimmy Ramshaw pitched a career-high tying 8.0 innings. He allowed just four hits, walked one batter, gave up one earned run and struck out seven batters in 112 pitches. It was Ramshaw's second career and second season complete game. Ramshaw is now 2-3 on the year. He has now thrown at least 5.0+ innings in six of seven starts on the year.
Alabama went up 3-1 in the third inning as it took advantage of two Florida errors. Allen Rice led off the inning with a single, Zac Welch reached base on a catcher's interference call on strike three and Adam Pavkovich walked. With the bases loaded, Peter Stonard looped a single over UF shortstop Mark Kiger's glove into left field driving home both Rice and Welch. But UF leftfielder Aaron Sobieraj threw to an uncovered third base enabling Pavkovich to score for the third run of the inning. The throw
Florida grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Mark Kiger reached base on a four-pitch walk, advanced to second and third on a balk and ground out respectively and scored on Mario Garza's RBI ground out to second base.
Brent Boyd gave Alabama a 4-1 lead with a leadoff home run to left field in the seventh inning.
The Gators made several outstanding defensive plays in the field including Jeff Corsaletti's catch at the fence in right field in the first inning, Mark Kiger's backhanded stab of a ball and throw to first in the second inning and Aaron Sobieraj's catch at the fence in the third frame.
Florida stranded seven baserunners to Alabama's two and outhit the Crimson Tide 6-4. Ryan Shealy and Matt Goss finished with two hits apiece.
*Florida catcher Brian Rose committed his first error of the season on a catcher's interference call in the bottom of the third inning. It was Rose's first error in 36 consecutive games and 215 straight attempts.
*Florida is now 8-6 on the season vs. nationally ranked teams. The Gators have now won 13 of their last 18 games.
*Jimmy Ramshaw pitched his second career complete game, a career-high tying 8.0 innings. He has now thrown at least 5.0+ innings in six of his seven starts on the year.
*Florida has now lost nine games in a row to Alabama. The Gators played Alabama for the first time in three years. The last time the two teams met was in 1999. Florida drops to 30-42 in its series against Alabama including 13-21 in Tuscaloosa.
*Florida assistant coach John Cohen is a Tuscaloosa native.
*Florida was held under 10+ hits for just the seventh time this season.