May 2, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The fifth-ranked Florida Gators got six shutout frames from starter Logan Shore and survived a late rally to down the No. 12 Alabama Crimson Tide, 7-3, on Friday night in the first game of a Southeastern Conference series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
"It was a poor performance tonight by us," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "You can't give Florida any free passed and we had nine walks, a hit batter and three errors. Like we talked about before the series, you have to play clean against the teams were about to play."
Alabama (30-16, 13-9 SEC) will look to even the series against Florida (31-15, 16-6 SEC) on Saturday, with first pitch set for 3:06 p.m CT. The game will also be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
In his 11th start of the season, Shore (6-2) scattered five hits with no walks and three strikeouts over the first six innings. The Tide found success against the Florida bullpen scoring three runs in as many innings, but the Gators found similar success against Alabama's bullpen, scoring five runs on four hits and six walks in three relief innings by the Tide.
Spencer Turnbull (5-4) took the loss for Alabama, after posting in his sixth "quality start" of the season. Turnbull allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings.
Alabama posted its 26th game of the season with 10 hits or more, highlighted by multiple-hit efforts from Georgie Salem, Ben Moore and Mikey White is 7-for-9 (.778) with two home runs, four RBI and five runs scored through two games this week. Salem accounted for two of the Tide's runs on an eighth-inning double and Kyle Overstreet drove the last run on a sacrifice fly.
With Moore's two hits, the first coming in the fourth inning on his second at-bat of the game, he extended hitting streak to 11 games, tying Overstreet for the longest streak of the season by a Tide player.
"Against a team like Florida, you have to play clean," Gaspard said. "That means throw a lot of strikes, play clean in the field and take advantage when you get opportunities on the offensive end. Quite truthfully tonight, we didn't do any of that and the game got away from us at the middle. The guys have to regroup and get ready for tomorrow."
Neither Turnbull nor Shore surrendered a run through the first four innings. Florida opened the scoring in the fifth by getting leadoff walks from Buddy Reed and John Sternagel, followed by an error on a sacrifice bunt that allowed Reed to score from second. Two batters later, the Gators got an RBI single from Harrison Bader to go to the bottom half of the inning up, 2-0.
Each team turned to relievers in the seventh, with the Tide handing the ball to Nick Eicholtz and the Gators countering with Justin Shafer. After loading the bases on a pair of walks and a hit, the Gators tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly from Taylor Gushue. With the bases loaded, the Tide turned the ball over to Taylor Guilbeau, who posted a strikeout to get out of the top half of the frame with just one run scoring. Shafer allowed a single to Smith while holding Alabama without a run for the bottom half of the inning.
Alabama went through three pitchers in the eighth inning, as Florida broke the game open scoring three times in the inning. With a walk, a single and a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, the Gators loaded the bases with no outs. Florida then got RBI from three consecutive batters, as Richie Martin walked, Bader singled, and Gushue capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to left, giving the Gators a 6-0 lead.
The Tide matched that run production in the bottom of the frame, ignited with hits from their first four batters of the inning. Will Haynie led off with a single to center field and White singled to left to set the table for Salem, who doubled down the left field line to plate both. After a Moore single put runners on the corners, Overstreet had a sacrifice fly to right center to cut the lead in half, and head to the ninth trailing, 6-3.
Florida added a run in the ninth on a Casey Turgeon RBI single, and retired all three Alabama hitters in the bottom of the frame to hand the Tide a 7-3 defeat.
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Alabama Game Notes
*After 107 games played between the two schools, Alabama fell to 55-52 all-time against Florida.
*The Tide moved to 19-7 in games played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season.
*Alabama posted its 26th game of the season with 10 base hits or more.
*Spencer Turnbull tied the team lead with his sixth "quality start" of the season.
*Mikey White went 2-for-4 to record his 13th multiple-hit game of the season, as well as the 32nd of his career.
*White is 7-for-9 (.778) so far this week with a pair of home runs, four RBI and five run scored.
*Wade Wass continues to lead the team with his 17th double of the season.
*Ben Moore singled to record a base hit for the 11th consecutive game while reaching base safely in 13 straight games
*Moore finished the night 2-for-4 to notch his team-leading 20th multiple-hit game of the season and the 60th of his career.
*Georgie Salem posted his third multiple-RBI game of the season and the sixth of his career.
*With a 2-for-4 night, Salem recorded his 19th multiple-hit game of the season and the 37th of his career.