With its third SEC Tournament win, Florida snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide. Florida won at least three games at the SEC Tournament for the eighth time in school history and for the first time since 2000.
Making just his second start against a SEC opponent, Pete (4-0) pitched a career-high 7.0 innings and limited Alabama hitters to seven hits and three runs (three earned) in 89 total pitches. During one stretch of the game from the second through the fifth innings, he retired seven consecutive batters. He pitched out of jams in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Reliever Kevin Coleman pitched the final 2.0 innings for his sixth save of the year.
"Mike Pete did an outstanding job of getting the ball in the strikezone," said Florida head coach Pat McMahon, who won his career-best 43rd game. "Alabama is an outstanding ball club and we're looking forward to the challenge of playing them again tonight.
Florida built a 5-0 lead over the first two innings. Pat Osborn gave Florida a 2-0 lead in the first inning when he hit a two-run homer to left field. Mark Kiger reached base on an eight-pitch single down the right field line. Osborn drilled a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his 14th home run of the season and 19th career homer. Florida went up 5-0 with a three-run second inning when it loaded the bases on a walk to Matt Goss, a Brian Rose hit by pitch and a bunt single by Aaron Sobieraj. With one out, Mark Kiger drove home Goss from third on a single to left field. Pat Osborn followed with a sacrifice fly to right field and Aaron Sobieraj scored on a throwing error by first baseman Brent Boyd.
Alabama got on the board in the second inning when Scott McClanahan led off with a double to left field, advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on Beau Hearod's sacrifice fly to right field.
The Gators made it 6-1 when Ryan Shealy drove home Pat Osborn from second base on a single to left center field. Osborn led off the inning with a double to left field.
Alabama battled back with solo runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The scored a run in the sixth on Beau Hearod's RBI single, added a run in the seventh on Grant Redding's triple and Allen Rice's sacrifice fly and closed the deficit to 6-4 on Brent Boyd's single in the eighth.
But Florida added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on Jake Riordan's sacrifice fly after Mario Garza doubled and advanced to third on a ground out. Coleman closed out the ninth for UF to secure the win.
Florida was led by Pat Osborn's 2-4, three RBI, home run day at the plate. Mark Kiger, Ryan Shealy and Aaron Sobieraj each added two hits for the Gators.
*Florida head coach Pat McMahon won his 43rd game of the season. The 43 wins ranks as the top season total for McMahon in his 10 years as a head coach at Old Dominion, Mississippi State and Florida. He won 42 in his first year as head coach at MSU (1998) and 42 in his second year at MSU (1999).
*Florida won its third game in the SEC Tournament.
*Pat Osborn hit Florida's 99th home run of the season in the first inning. Florida has hit only 100+ home runs in two seasons. The school record for most team home runs in a season is 132 hit in 1998.
*Freshman Mike Pete pitched a career-high 7.0 innings today. It was his second start against a SEC team today. It was the eighth start of his career.
*Brian Rose was hit by pitch for the 10th time this season. He becomes just the eighth player to get hit at least 10 times in a season. It was the 27th time in his career that Rose has been hit by pitch and he ranks second behind David Eckstein (41 from 1994-97) in career times hit by pitch.
*Florida registered 10+ hits for the 41st time in 59 games this year. That ranks sixth all-time in UF history for most 10+ hit games.
*In the first inning, Mark Kiger scored his 83rd run of the season. The 83 runs ranks third among UF's all-time best run scoring seasons behind Brad Wilkerson (86 in 1998) and David Eckstein (85 in 1997).
*Florida is now 36-3 when leading after six innings.
*Florida snapped a 12-game Alabama win streak in the series. Prior to today, the last time UF defeated Alabama was in 1997.
*Florida has now won 16 of its last 21 contests and six of its last seven games.
*Florida is now 10-12 vs. nationally ranked teams this year.