Unanswered Runs Pace No. 5 Gators to Series Finale
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In search of its first series sweep at Florida in 20 years, Kentucky jumped out to a one-run lead but the fifth-ranked Gators scored 10 unanswered runs to post a 10-1 win over the Wildcats, on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
Kentucky (25-17, 10-10 Southeastern Conference) was seeking to extend its winning streak to seven games with its second consecutive league sweep. UK posted a 3-0 win in the opener and a 7-6 win on Saturday to clinch its third consecutive series win over Florida, its best stretch since claiming three straight meetings from 1973-75. The Wildcats finished shy of completing their first sweep of Florida since the 1993 season.
Offensively, Kentucky collected six hits, including a double from JaVon Shelby. UK also got hits from Ka'ai Tom, Storm Wilson, Thomas Bernal, Zach Arnold and Connor Heady.
UK starter Andrew Nelson (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight hits and five runs in 3.2 innings, allowing one walk and striking out two. Zach Logue came on with two outs in the fourth, getting a first-pitch fly out to escape the jam. Logue, a native of Mason, Ohio, worked 1.1 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and one walk. Dylan Dwyer took over to start the sixth, allowing two hits and two runs with one out recorded. Robert Zeigler replaced Dwyer, working 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and an unearned run. Bo Wilson came on to work the eighth, tossing a shutout frame.
Faedo (4-1) picked up the win with a strong start for the Gators. He worked 5.1 innings, allowing six singles and one run, walking one and striking out four. Sidearm righty Taylor Lewis took over in the sixth, getting a pair of outs to escape the jam. Lewis worked 2.1 perfect innings, striking out two. Lefty Bobby Poyner also worked in relief, getting the final four outs.
UK will return to action on Tuesday, traveling to No. 3 Louisville for a 6 p.m. matchup at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Wildcats struck first in the top of the second inning, as Wilson reached on a one-out single and Bernal followed with a single to centerfield on a hit-and-run, pushing Wilson to third base. Arnold then singled with two strikes through the left side, giving UK an early one-run lead.
Florida (33-12, 13-8 SEC) immediately answered in the second inning, as Josh Tobias led off with a four-pitch walk and Harrison Bader smacked a hard-hit single off Nelson's glove. Peter Alonso then ripped an RBI double into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Tobias. JJ Schwarz, the SEC's RBI leader, then lined a sacrifice fly to rightfield to score Bader and push Alonso to third base with one out. Mike Rivera then plated Alonso with a sac fly to rightfield.
UF broke the game opener with two runs in the fourth inning, chasing Nelson from the mound. Alonso and Schwarz led off with singles, scoring on Dalton Guthrie's two-out triple into the right-centerfield gap.
Florida added two runs in the fifth, as Richie Martin tripled to leadoff, scoring on Bader's single to leftfield. Rivera then doubled off the wall in leftfield, scoring Bader.
The Gators rallied to load the bases with no outs in the sixth on a hit, error and hit batter. After the first run scored on a wild pitch, Bader singled to rightfield to score Buddy Reed.
UF plated an unearned run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Guthrie.