Sophomore Tyler Odle belted
a two-run homer with one out in the 10th inning to lift Alabama
(27-22/11-13 SEC) to a 7-5 victory over Florida
(25-24/12-12 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at McKethan
Stadium. After the Gators plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth to force
extra frames, Odle responded with his first career
round-tripper and second hit of the year off to help the Crimson Tide salvage
the series finale. Sophomore Austin Hyatt (5-1) pitched 1.2 innings to notch
the win, while junior Will Stroup (7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R) pitched brilliantly in his
first start of the year following 20 relief appearances.
With UF down to its last two outs, sophomore Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
picked an opportune time for his first career homer, trimming UA’s lead to 5-4 with a shot to right field. Junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.)
followed with an infield single and raced down to second when sophomore Alex
Avila’s relay throw went wide of first base. Senior Austin Pride (Longwood,
Fla.) cranked a game-tying
double to drive in Townsend and the Tide brought in Hyatt for junior Josh
Copeland (1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R). A grounder by freshman Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) nudged Pride to third and freshman
(Naples, Fla.) popped up to give the fans free baseball.
Junior Matt Bentley roped a ground-rule double to
begin the 10th and junior Josh Edmondson
(LaGrange, Ga.) came out off the bullpen for senior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.), who registered a career-high six
K over four innings. The sidearmer whiffed junior
Elvin Vargas before Odle sent a 1-2 pitch over the
scoreboard in right to score sophomore pinch runner Jeff Texada
for a 7-5 lead.
A two-out double by junior Matt Bentley in
the fourth off freshman Billy Bullock (Valrico, Fla.) (2-6) had
given the Crimson Tide a 1-0 lead. Freshman Brandon May had drawn a one-out
walk and Bentley’s eighth double to right center scored his teammate all the
way from first base.
Alabama used a
pair of solo homers in the fifth to build a 3-0 advantage and chase Bullock. Sophomore
Kyle Moore led off with his second dinger to left and senior Emeel Salem connected on his sixth round-tripper two
batters later to right center. Freshman Kevin
Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.)
replaced Bullock (4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R) and caught senior Brandon Belcher and May looking on strikes.
The Gators trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom
of the frame on a two-out RBI single by Pride. Freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee,
Fla.) singled up the middle
with one down and Townsend produced a two-out infield hit for two Gator runners
aboard. Pride sliced a 3-2 offering into left center past senior shortstop Greg
Paiml to put UF on the board and Stroup worked out of
further trouble by having Pigott force Pride at
started things off in the sixth with a walk and moved to second with his third
theft. Bentley earned free pass to end the afternoon for Chapman (0.2 IP, 2 BB,
2 K) and freshman Del Howell greeted Hurst
with a sacrifice bunt to push his teammates into scoring position. The left-hander
fanned Odle and Moore to keep the count 3-1.
The Crimson Tide added two more runs in the seventh
on two hits, an error and wild pitch for a 5-1 advantage. Paiml
reached on a bunt, Salem
was hit by a pitch and Belcher bunted for a hit to load the bases with none out.
A grounder by May was misplayed by Figueroa for an error, allowing Paiml to come across. Hurst
caught Avila looking on strikes but then
uncorked a wild pitch for a four-run Alabama
UF closed to within 5-3 on Figueroa’s ninth homer
in the home part of the frame. Sophomore Cody
Neer (Orlando, Fla.)
drew a pinch-hit walk to lead off and Figueroa blasted a 1-1 pitch into the
A leadoff single by Pigott
in the eighth prompted a pitching change, as Copeland took over for Stroup.
Freshman Clayton Pisani
(Naples, Fla.) was
plunked by the reliever and junior Bryson
Barber (Pensacola, Fla.)
laid down a pinch-hit bunt to advance his teammates. Copeland slammed the
door by having freshman Matt den Dekker
(Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) fly out to right and Neer ground to third.
Florida held a
12-9 advantage in hits but stranded 11 runners. The trio of Belcher, Bentley
and Moore had two hits for Alabama,
while Figueroa, Hicks, Pride and Townsend had multiple-hit outings for the
Gators. Florida will host North
Florida on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in its final non-conference
game of the regular season.