Alabama takes final game of series inside Condron Ballpark

Florida (18-4, 2-1 SEC) dropped their fourth game of the 2023 season and first SEC game, losing 6-3 to Alabama in the final game of a three-game series.

Alabama found three runs in the first inning of both games in Friday’s doubleheader. This time around, the Crimson Tide did it with the help of Florida’s starter Hurston Waldrep, who walked the first two batters he faced, was credited with an E1 on a pickoff attempt, and helped a run score on a pass ball.

Much like they did throughout the first game, Florida answered right away as Josh Rivera blasted a two-run home run to left field, cutting the Gators’ deficit to just one.

In the top half of the second, Tommy Seidl cranked a solo shot to left field, extending Alabama’s lead to 4-2.

Waldrep settled down as the game went on, tossing four straight scoreless innings after struggling early against a tough Alabama lineup. Waldrep didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but finished with a line of six innings pitched, three earned runs, seven hits, and four walks while striking out seven batters.

Brandon Neely took over for the Gators in the seventh inning, giving up a leadoff single before striking out the next three batters.

The score remained 4-2 until Michael Robertson laced an opposite-field RBI single in the seventh inning, scoring Schiekofer from third base and cutting the Gators deficit to one.

A huge mental error would end the Gators threat in the seventh inning. Cade Kurland struck out on a ball in the dirt with runners on first and second with one out. Kurland tried to take first on a drop third strike (which you aren’t allowed to do with first base occupied and less than two outs). This confused Michael Robertson, who was eventually tagged out in between first and second base. Jac Caglianone was due up for the Gators but didn’t get a chance to swing it in the seventh due to the double play.

Brandon Neely allowed a two-run home run in the top of the eighth off the bat of Caden Rose, extending Alabama’s lead to 6-3. Neely finished the game with. Neely finished the game with three innings pitched, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out seven batters.

Florida went quietly in eight and ninth innings.

The Gators didn’t light up the scoreboard like they have in previous weeks. Part of that can and should be credited to SEC pitching. Florida is also out two of their better bats in Wyatt Langford (groin) and Luke Heyman (hamstring). Also, Jac Caglianone wasn’t his usual self at the plate this weekend. I wouldn’t be worried about the bats moving forward.

Taking two of three from a ranked SEC team is always a tough task in college baseball. Alabama deserves their credit for playing three competitive games and finishing the series with a victory.

Florida travels to Tallahassee on Tuesday.







Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.