2011 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 7 -- #3 Florida 6, #7 Alabama 0
No. 3 Florida Blanks Alabama, 6-0, To Reach Semifinal Round Of SEC Tournament
HOOVER, Ala. – Florida sophomore right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) tossed eight scoreless innings, junior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was 4-for-4 and scored three runs and senior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) was 4-for-5 and tallied three RBI to lead the third-seeded Gators (43-15) past seventh-seeded Alabama (33-25), 6-0, in the first winner’s bracket game of the 2011 SEC Tournament on Thursday at Regions Park.
The Gators will now be off on Friday and will return to action on Saturday at around 1:30 p.m. ET in the semifinals that will be televised in Gainesville and Ocala on Sun Sports (Channels 48/1048 on the Cox Communications’ cable system) and heard on WRUF SportsRadio 850. The Crimson Tide will meet Arkansas (37-19) in an elimination game tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Randall (9-3) allowed four singles over eight strong innings and benefitted from the Gator defense matching its season high with three double plays. He improved his career mark to 3-0 against Alabama and has not allowed any runs to the Tide in 21.1 innings. Sophomore Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) yielded a leadoff single and recorded the first out of the ninth before junior Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) set down both hitters he faced to secure UF’s 10th shutout of the season, matching the school record established in 1970.
The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI grounder by junior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) and a sacrifice fly by senior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1-for-3). Smith doubled on junior Adam Morgan’s (5-6) first pitch of the game and the pitcher mishandled a sacrifice attempt by sophomore Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (1-for-3), giving the Gators runners on the corners and none out. A walk to sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) filled the bags and Tucker’s grounder to first base scored Smith with the game’s opening run. Adams followed with his fifth sacrifice fly of the year into left field to plate Fontana.
Alabama threatened in the bottom of the inning by putting its first two runners aboard but Randall worked out of the jam. Junior Taylor Dugas (2-for-3) drew a leadoff walk and Randall threw wide of second base on a bunt by senior Brock Bennett. The right-hander rebounded to have junior Jared Reaves hit into a 5-3 double play and then had freshman Austen Smith ground out.
Florida added two runs on three hits in the second to build a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) opened the inning with a base-hit into center field and Pigott smashed a single off senior second baseman Josh Sanders, moving Maddox to third. Smith roped a one-out RBI single to score Maddox and the Gators executed a double steal, with Pigott taking third and Smith moving up to second base. Fontana increased Florida’s lead to four runs with his team-high seventh sacrifice fly to center field that brought in Pigott and ended the afternoon for Morgan (3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R). It was the shortest stint all season for the southpaw.
Smith came through with his career-high third hit of the game in the fourth, an RBI single off sophomore Taylor Wolfe, to boost Florida’s lead to 5-0. Pigott began the frame with a single through the left side of the infield, stole second and was sacrificed to third by sophomore Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Smith’s base-knock into left field scored Pigott for a five-run margin.
Randall had retired 12-consecutive Alabama hitters before Sanders led off the bottom of the sixth with a single into left field. Dugas followed with a single into center field for two runners aboard and a fielder’s choice by Bennett forced out Dugas at second and pushed Sanders to third. With runners on the corners and one down, Randall induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play from Reaves to complete the inning.
After yielding an infield single to senior Brett Whitaker (2-for-3) with one down in the seventh, Randall had sophomore Brett Booth hit into a 6-4-3 double play – the third turned by the Gators in the contest. Pigott led off the ninth with his first triple of the campaign and came home on a one-out RBI double by Smith to finalize the 6-0 margin. Florida held an 11-5 advantage in hits, including five that went for extra bases (four doubles, one triple).
2011 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 7 – Thursday, May 26 – 4:30 p.m.
#3 Florida vs. #7 Alabama
• Thursday's matchup marks the 18th time that Florida and Alabama have met in the SEC Tournament.
• Today's game was the 106th meeting all-time between the two schools.
• Florida is now 43-15 on the season overall and Alabama falls to 33-25.
• In the SEC Tournament, the Gators move to 51-52 and the Crimson Tide fall to 43-35.
• This was Florida's first shutout since beating Bethune-Cookman, 11-0, on May 3, 2011. They now have nine shutouts this year.
• The Gators are now 12-3 in Hudson Randall's 15 starts.
• Daniel Piggott and Bryson Smith both had four hits in the game for Florida. The last time a Gator batter had four hits was Mike Zunino on May 1st, 2011 against Ole Miss.
• Catcher Mike Zunino tallied his 26th walk of the season in the first inning against Alabama. That number is second on the team behind Nolan Fontana, who has 43.
• Centerfielder Bryson Smith has owned Alabama pitching this season. With his four hits on Thursday, he now has seven hits in 15 at-bats against the Crimson Tide in 2011. Good for a .467 batting average.
• With his single in the third inning, second baseman Josh Adams now sits alone in second place on Florida's all-time hits list (277). He passes David Eckstein (1994-97).
• Starting pitcher Hudson Randall had yet another good outing against Alabama this season. He won not only his second game against Alabama, but he also topped his innings pitched against the Tide (8.0).
• After giving up the first hit to Brett Whitaker, Randall retired the next 12 batters he faced. Josh Sanders broke the hitless streak with a single in the sixth inning.
• The win was Randall's first since April 29 after falling to Arkansas, getting a no-decision at Vanderbilt and taking the defeat against Kentucky.
• Against Alabama in his career, Randall has now thrown 21.1 scoreless innings, with 16 hits, five strikeouts and four walks.
• With his stolen base in the fourth inning, Daniel Piggott gave Florida its first stolen base in their last seven games.
• The 6-0 loss marks the first time Alabama has been shutout since losing to Florida on April 22, 2011. It is the fifth time this season that the Crimson Tide have been shutout.
• After going barely three innings, it was the first time in his last 11 starts that starting pitcher Adam Morgan failed to pitch at least six innings and his lowest inning total of the season.
• Morgan only recorded one strikeout in the game, his lowest in any game this season.
• This was Morgan's fifth career start against Florida. The loss now puts him at 1-3 against the Gators.
• Taylor Dugas broke through in the sixth inning with his first hit of the game. That extends his hitting streak to seven games, the longest currently for any Tide player.
• Dugas also notched a walk in his first at-bat of the game, which gives him 124 base on balls for his career. He is now one behind Bret Elbin (1981-83) for third on Alabama's all-time list.
• With his single in the ninth inning, Dugas notched his team-leading 26th multi-hit game.
• The Crimson Tide grounded into three double plays on Thursday afternoon. That ups their team total to 53 for the season. Two of the double plays were grounded into by Jared Reaves, who now has seven on the year. Those seven are the most on the team.
• Brett Whitaker went two-for-three on the day against Florida, for his second multi-hit game of the season.