Gators even baseball series

ATHENS - Fifth-ranked Florida posted a 12-1 win over Georgia in front of a season-high crowd of 3,717 at Foley Field Saturday.

The Gators (24-8, 7-4 SEC) got a strong pitching performance from Alan Horne and took advantage of four Bulldog errors to even the series. The Bulldogs (18-13, 3-7 SEC) saw their three-game winning streak end. Horne pitched seven innings and allowed one run on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts to move to 2-2. Georgia starter Sean Ruthven struck out a season-high nine but surrendered six runs on seven hits before leaving with one out in the seventh. He fell to 1-3 on the year.

With two outs in the first, Adam Davis drew a walk, stole second and third and came home on a base hit by Matt LaPorta (2-5, 2 RBI) for a 1-0 lead. However, Georgia answered with a run in the bottom of the frame. Josh Smith lead off with a single to left and moved around to third on a single by Jonathan Wyatt. Bobby Felmy then followed with a base hit to deep short bringing the run home. However, Horne got first baseman Josh Morris to bounce into and inning-ending double play to keep it 1-1.

Florida quickly reclaimed the lead in the second going up 3-1. Brian Leclerc and Brandon McArthur (4-5, 2 RBI) both singled to right. Next, Brian Jeroloman put down a sacrifice bunt and Georgia's Jason Jacobs and Josh Morris each committed throwing errors on the play allowing a run to score. Tordi added another run for the Gators on a RBI single. Georgia had a chance to answer back in its half of the frame as Jacobs and Derek Smith led off with base hits. Kyle Keen moved them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. However, Horne struck out Brandon Masters and got Smith to ground out to keep it 3-1 Gators.

In the sixth, Leclerc stretched Florida's lead to 4-1 with a solo homer to right, his sixth of the season. In the seventh, the Gators extended their lead to 9-1, scoring five runs on three hits and were aided by two Bulldog errors. In the ninth, Florida scored three more runs on four hits off freshman Joshua Fields to make it 12-1. Shortstop Justin Tordi delivered a two-run double while McArthur chipped in a run-scoring single to key the last outburst.

Mike Pete and Connor Falkenbach pitched a scoreless inning apiece in relief of Horne to preserve the win. The series concludes Sunday at 1:06 p.m., and the game will be televised by Sun Sports. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher.

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