Gators lose to Bama, Still Tied Atop SEC

Sunday was definitely a case of good news, bad news for the Gator baseball team. Florida got good news in South Carolina's loss to Kentucky, but plenty of bad news in a 10-8 loss to Alabama. With the win, Alabama stays in the hunt for the last spot in the SEC Tournament, but the loss does not cost the Gators in the race for the SEC title since South Carolina also lost.

After winning the first two games in Tuscaloosa, Florida spent almost the entire day looking up at the Crimson Tide on Sunday, the Gators ended up losing for the first time after seven straight SEC wins.

The Gators grabbed an early lead in the top of the second inning, but it didn't last long. Alabama got to Gator freshman Brian Johnson with four runs in the second, three coming in a homer by Josh Rutledge. The Gators finally re-tied the game with three in the fifth inning to make it a 6-6 game, but the teams didn't stay tied for long.

Bama scored three runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth to go up 9-6. Florida added a run in the seventh but that was as close as the Gators would get on this day as the Tide ended up with the 10-8 win.

The Gators got three homers in the game as Austin Maddox went deep for the 15th time this season and Mike Zunino and Matt den Dekker each hit his eighth long ball of the season. However the Gator pitching, which has been so reliable this year, was not on this day. Brian Johnson, who had the team's best ERA against SEC competition (1.80) went just 3.1 innings while surrendering six earned runs. The Gator bullpen was not much better with Anthony DeSclafani giving up a run in two innings and Nick Maronde managing a walk and two hit batters in a third of an inning.

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Despite the loss the Gators earned their sixth straight win in an SEC series and have posted the better record in seven of eight SEC weekends. Florida ended the weekend tied with South Carolina for the lead in the race for the SEC Championship. Both teams are 17-7 in league play with six games to go. South Carolina will have to travel to Arkansas this weekend while the Gators host the worst team in the SEC, Georgia which is 3-19 in SEC play.


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