Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan walks to the dugout an NCAA Super Regional college baseball game against Auburn Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

O’Sullivan Earns 600th career win after Gators dominate Alabama 13-6 Saturday

The Florida Gators baseball team (15-4, 2-0 SEC) crushed the Alabama Crimson Tide (12-8, 0-2 SEC) Saturday night with an astounding 13-6 win. The game was neck and neck up to the fourth inning, but the Gators dominated from the fifth on, scoring eight runs to lengthen their lead. Not only did the win clinch the series for Florida, but head coach Kevin O’Sullivan earned his 600th career win.

Early Home Run Fun

Florida kicked off game two of the series with back-to-back home runs in the top of the first. Wyatt Langford first homered out to left field where he and Sterlin Thompson scored. BT Riopelle followed suit with his own dinger to right field, and Florida was up with an early 3-0 lead.

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The Crimson Tide got on the board earlier than they had in Friday’s game. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Jim Jarvis walked leaving Owen Diodati to jog to home plate. Florida would maintain its three-run lead, though, after Langford grounded out to the shortstop, leading Colby Halter to score. The Gators were up 4-1 after the top of the third.

Alabama Closes In

Alabama closed the scoring gap to just one run in the bottom of the third. Drew Williamson singled up the middle, allowing Zane Denton to score. After, Diodati grounded into a 4-6-3 double play where Tommy Seidl scored. The Crimson Tide now trailed by one heading into the fourth.

The scoring didn’t slow. Deric Fabian singled to left-center in the top of the fourth and Josh Rivera sprinted to home plate, now a 5-3 game. However, the Crimson Tide slowly crept upon Florida’s lead. At the bottom of the fourth, Alabama had two runs to tie the game at 5 apiece: one each from Eric Foggo and Bryce Eblin.

Florida’s Unstoppable Offense

Langford launched his second home run of the night in the top of the fifth to keep the Gators on top. Kendrick Calilao also found home plate after Halter walked, the Gators up 7-5.

The sixth inning was the Gators’ playground. Langford began Florida’s scoring run after Riopelle singled through the right side. Riopelle then stole two bases to end up on third before Calilao homered to left field. To top the inning off, Kris Armstrong added another home run to increase Florida’s dominating lead to 11-5.

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A late home run in the bottom of the seventh would be the last time Alabama scored in the game. The Gators, however, went on to add two more runs in the eighth with one from Rivera followed by Armstrong. It was a scoreless ninth for both teams, the only scoreless inning of the game, and Florida clinched the series with a 13-6 victory.

Pitching Stats

Brandon Sproat started for Florida Saturday but struggled some in the game. Sproat allowed four runs in the three innings he pitched and had hit one batter. First from the bullpen was Ryan Slater, who came in at the bottom of the fourth. Slater ended the night with six strikeouts and allowed two runs in the five innings he pitched. Blake Purnell sealed the deal for Florida after taking over in the bottom of the ninth, where he had two strikeouts.

Up next, the Gators look to sweep Alabama Sunday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at k.wadulack@ufl.edu

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