Florida baseball drops series finale to Kentucky to miss out on sweep

Gators allowed Wildcats to score three or more runs for the first time in series
Florida pitcher Ryan Slater warms up on the mound at Condron Ballpark.
Florida pitcher Ryan Slater warms up on the mound at Condron Ballpark.(WCJB)
Published: May. 1, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - After Florida recorded the final out, well after midnight, to win their second game in a row against Kentucky and clinch just their second Southeastern Conference series of the spring, the Gators and Wildcats were back at Condron Ballpark less than 12 hours later, to conclude their weekend set.

Despite Colby Halter’s rbi single to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 2nd, the Gators (25-18) used four different pitchers, who combined to surrender 8 earned runs to the Wildcats (24-20), and allowed Big Blue Nation to avoid a sweep in Gainesville.

Ryan Slater (2-3) got the nod to start on the hill for the orange and blue, but only lasted 3.1 innings. Slater gave up 4 runs, on 7 hits, in his short outing. He only racked up one strikeout, but didn’t walk any batters either.

By the time the contest reached the bottom of the 4th, Florida was already trailing 4-1.

Neither team could scratch out a run over the next three frames, but in the bottom of the 7th, the orange and blue missed their best chance to get back into the game.

With the bases loaded and one out, Sterlin Thompson stepped to the plate with a real chance to provide a spark for a quieted offense. Instead, on a 0-1 pitch, the right fielder grounded into the twin killing, inning ending, 4-6-3 double play.

The next two innings, Kentucky managed to add four more runs to their total to leave Gainesville with a lone victory.

Despite losing the series finale, Florida did win the first two games to claim the series, so the loss wasn’t detrimental. The Gators will return to action on Tuesday, May 3 when they host in-state rival USF from Tampa at 6 p.m.

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