Friday May 4, 2007Mullaney's Pitching and Neer's Offense Lead Baseball Over Alabama, 6-2
Making his second career start, freshman Kyle Mullaney
(Jacksonville, Fla.) limited Alabama (26-21/10-12 SEC) to two runs over 7.1
innings as Florida (24-23/11-11 SEC) captured the series opener with a 6-2 win
at McKethan Stadium on Friday night. The right-hander
(3-1) scattered nine hits and was supported by two home runs and three RBI from
sophomore Cody Neer
“Kyle (Mullaney) did such
a great job tonight,” said head coach Pat
McMahon. “He was locating his pitches, and gave us an outstanding
performance for the second consecutive Friday.
Neer put the Gators on the board with a two-out solo shot in the second off sophomore Tommy Hunter (5-4). The round-tripper cleared the wall in center field and was Neer’s fourth of the year, first since socking a three-run walk-off against No. 4 South Carolina on April 7.
“It felt good to be able to come up with big hits tonight,” Neer said. “The first homer was a fastball, and the next was a breaking ball. I shortened my swing, and that helped me a lot. I had been missing pitches in the zone, so I had to make sure that I squared up if the pitches were in the zone.”
The Gators expanded their margin to 4-1 in the
fifth on a RBI grounder by junior Bryson
UF tacked on two more runs in the sixth to build a
6-1 advantage. Barnes started things off with a double and was moved over by
freshman Cole Figueroa (
In the eighth, freshman Brandon May led off with a
single to right center and freshman Del Howell and Bentley produced
back-to-back one-out hits to load the bases and end the night for Mullaney (7.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R). Belcher greeted senior David Hurst (
“This win gave me a lot of confidence,” Mullaney said. “I realized that if I threw strikes and let them put it in play, our defense would make the plays behind me. I didn’t strike anyone out or overpower anyone tonight. I was just trying to let them hit the ball just enough so that we could make the outs happen.”
Each team had 11 hits, with May a career-best
4-for-4 for the visitors.