Bama baseball falls to Florida, 4-3, to drop series
From the University of Alabama Athletics Department:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The 12th-ranked Alabama baseball team suffered its first home series loss of the year, as the fifth-ranked Florida Gators defeated the Crimson Tide, 4-3, in a Southeastern Conference matchup on Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama (30-17, 13-10 SEC) will look to avoid the sweep as the series with Florida (32-15, 17-6 SEC) wraps up on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m., and will be available on ESPN3.
"I thought it was a good battle on both sides," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "For us, (Justin) Kamplain hung in there and got us to the middle part of the game. His pitch count got up and that's a credit to Florida's hitters. They really battled and competed and fought off a lot of pitches and got to a lot of deep counts. (Ray) Castillo came in and it was good to see him get a couple of zeros. We need him as we get later into the season, and (Geoffrey) Bramblett was sharp in the ninth."
Justin Kamplain (4-3) was charged with the loss for Alabama after allowing four runs on six hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Ray Castillo held the Gators to a hit and two walks in 2.2 shutout frames, and Geoffrey Bramblett added a scoreless inning to finish the game.
Gators reliever A.J. Puk (4-2) was the winning pitcher, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks. The Florida bullpen combined to blank the Crimson Tide for 6.2 innings, allowing three hits and four walks, combined, to close out the game.
Wade Wass, Austen Smith and Kyle Overstreet each drove in a run for the Tide. Overstreet and Chance Vincent had two hits each and Ben Moore extended his hit streak to 12 games with a bunt single in the third inning.
"Offensively, we put the one inning together in the third, and really from there just weren't able to put much together," Gaspard said. "We had a couple of opportunities that we missed. Florida's pitching staff is really good, we knew that, and they don't give you many chances, and when you get those few, you have to try and capitalize on them."
The Gators were led offensively by Casey Turgeon, who was not retired in the game, as he finished the day 3-for-3 with a pair of walks and an RBI double.
Florida got on the board first on a wild pitch in the top of the third, before Alabama responded with a three spot in the bottom of the frame. Mikey White, Georgie Salem and Moore all reached to load the bases for Wass, who tied the game up with a single through the right side. With bases loaded again, Smith plated Salem on a fielder's choice then Overstreet capped inning with an RBI single to left center.
Florida cut into the lead in the fifth when Turgeon doubled to right center to drive in Josh Tobias who led off the inning with a single. The Gators added another run in the sixth on a leadoff solo home run by Taylor Gushue, tying the game at 3-3, and then took the lead when Puk had an RBI single later in the inning.
Alabama was unable to muster a response, as Florida held on from there to take game two of the series.
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