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UF Baseball: Florida Falls at Kentucky in Series Opener, 7-5

Photo by UK Athletics

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY DENVER PARLER

No. 10 Florida baseball dropped a 7-5 contest at Kentucky on Thursday in the series opener at Kentucky Proud Park. The Gators fought back from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game, but a two-run eighth lifted the Wildcats.

Kentucky (27-15, 11-11 SEC) struck first, plating four runs in the fourth inning, including a pair on Cam Hill’s two-RBI base hit to right field, and added another in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.

Florida (31-14, 13-9 SEC) got on the board in the sixth, as Josh Rivera knocked a leadoff double deep to right field, advanced to third on a Colby Halter grounder, and scored on Jacob Young’s sacrifice fly to right field.

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Florida put up four in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. The Gators again got a leadoff double, this time from Jud Fabian. Kris Armstrong followed with a base hit, and Kirby McMullen added another to push Fabian home. After Rivera walked to load the bases, Halter drew the bases-loaded walk to drive Armstrong in, and Young followed with a two-RBI base hit to knot the score.

The Gators loaded the bases in the eighth, but Kentucky prevented Florida from taking the lead. John Rhodes then delivered a two-out, two-RBI base hit in the bottom of the frame to put Kentucky ahead, 7-5.

NOTABLES

  *   McMullen’s RBI single was part of Florida’s four-run seventh, and he has now hit safely in 12 straight, with two home runs and 12 RBI during that stretch.
  *   Florida starter Franco Aleman threw a career-high 6.0 innings, with three strikeouts and no decision.

UP NEXT: Florida continues the series at Kentucky on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games will stream on SEC Network + and will be available on radio on WRUF 850 AM/98.1 FM in Gainesville, 1010XL in Jacksonville and on any mobile device via the TuneIn app (search for the “Florida Baseball” station).