Gainesville, FL - Ninth-ranked Florida completed a sweep of visiting Georgia Sunday with a 10-3 victory at McKethan Stadium.
The Bulldogs (21-18-1, 7-10-1 SEC) claimed a 1-0 lead in the first courtesy of a two-out RBI single by junior shortstop Nelson Ward. With one out, junior left fielder Conor Welton notched his fourth hit of the series, advanced to second on a groundout by Hunter Cole to bring up Ward.
The Gators (27-13, 12-6 SEC) responded with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame off senior Patrick Boling. Centerfielder Harris Bader provided the go-ahead hit, a two-run triple, while a sacrifice fly by Branden Mattson accounted for the final run. In the second, Florida erupted for four runs on three hits to build a 7-1 advantage. After back-to-back walks to start the inning, Boling was lifted in favor of junior Ross Ripple. Richie Martin put a bunt down that Ripple misplayed trying to retire the runner at third and it loaded the bases. Two singles, a bunt and a sacrifice fly followed, and it was 7-1. Ward added another two-out RBI in the fifth to score Welton. Florida answered with a two-run home run from Casey Turgeon off Jarrett Brown to make it 9-2. Georgia freshman Skyler Weber doubled and scored in the seventh, and the Gators got the run back in their half of the inning for a 10-3 final.
Florida left-hander Danny Young notched the win by going five innings to improve to 5-0. Boling dropped to 3-4 after surrendering five runs on three hits with three walks in one inning. Five Bulldog pitchers saw action Sunday. Georgia outhit the Gators 14-10 but hit into four double plays.
“The first two innings we give up seven runs and you can’t have a start like that against team like the one we were playing,” said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game where our guys in the number two through seven in the order get 11 hits and we only score three runs. That was frustrating. The four double plays hurt that we hit into, two were line outs and two were highlight reel plays for them. We swung it well and had some loud outs. It’s extremely disappointing to get swept, and now we have to bounce back on Tuesday.”
Georgia will be back in action Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Kennesaw State, and the game will be played at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, home of the Gwinnett Braves.