Gators go down in Extra Innings

A bases-loaded walk to senior Brian Spear in the 10th inning brought home sophomore Keenan Wiley with the winning run as No. 17 Kentucky defeated No. 24 Florida, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium in the rubber game of the weekend series.

Junior Scott Green (4-2) struck out all five Gator (25-15/10-8 SEC) batters he faced to earn the victory.

In the final frame, Wiley (3-for-5) had delivered a leadoff double off freshman Tommy Toledo (4-4) and was safe at third when sophomore catcher Hampton Tignor fielded junior Collin Cowgill's (2-for-4) bunt and attempted to throw out the runner. Senior Sawyer Carroll was walked intentionally to fill the bases and Spear took ball four on a 3-1 pitch to end the contest.

Cowgill belted his team-leading 15th homer in the opening stanza to stake the Wildcats (30-9/9-9 SEC) to a 1-0 lead against junior Stephen Locke. At that point, Cowgill's one-out blast marked the 11th straight time in the series he had reached base. Locke struck out a career-high eight batters over 6.2 innings in his first weekend start of the campaign.

UF had runners on the corners with two down in the third but could not get on the board. Junior Avery Barnes laced a single to shallow center and sophomore Matt den Dekker followed with a base-hit up the middle. Senior Greg Dombrowski worked out of trouble by having sophomore Cole Figueroa ground out to first.

In the bottom of the frame, the Wildcats used a sacrifice fly by Spear to take a 2-0 lead. Wiley led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Carroll earned a free pass and Spear notched his second sac fly of the season.

The Gators knotted the game at 2-2 in the sixth on den Dekker's team-best seventh homer. Barnes started things off with a base-hit into right and den Dekker sent Dombrowski's 1-1 pitch over the right-field wall to forge a stalemate. Freshman Josh Adams sliced a one-out single into left and moved into scoring position with his ninth stolen base. Senior Bryson Barber was walked intentionally with two down and Dombrowski responded with a strikeout of sophomore Clayton Pisani.

Barnes collected his third hit with two down in the seventh, prompting a pitching change. Over 6.2 innings, Dombrowski permitted seven hits, notched seven strikeouts and issued one walk. With den Dekker at the plate, Barnes stole second base but over-slid the bag and was tagged out in a rundown to end the frame.

Locke departed with two out in the seventh after yielding a single to Wiley. The southpaw gave up five hits with only one walk in 6.2 innings of work. Making his first career relief appearance, Toledo fanned Cowgill on three pitches to start his 2.1-inning stint.

Carroll began the home portion of the eighth with a towering shot to straightaway center field, only to have den Dekker reach over the 390-foot mark to prevent a possible round-tripper. Green later replaced senior Brock Baber (0.2 IP, 2 K) with one out in the ninth and set down both batters he faced in that frame before retiring the Gators in order in the 10th.

UF held a 7-6 advantage in hits, led by Barnes (3-for-5), den Dekker (2-for-4) and Adams (2-for-4). The Gators will host league-leading No. 7 Georgia (27-12/14-3 SEC) next weekend at McKethan Stadium. UGA claimed the first two games over LSU in Baton Rouge, 6-3 and 9-8, to run their SEC winning streak to 10 games and were tied 10-10 in the 10th inning of the finale.

Courtesy UF Sports Information

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