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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gators offense falls flat in Series finale, loses 8-1 to Wildcats

The loss prevented a potential series sweep for Florida

<p>Florida&#x27;s Colby Halter chases after a ball on March 14 during a game against Jacksonville. He recorded 3 RBIs in UF&#x27;s 7-3 win over Central Michigan Friday.</p>

Florida's Colby Halter chases after a ball on March 14 during a game against Jacksonville. He recorded 3 RBIs in UF's 7-3 win over Central Michigan Friday.

The Florida Gators couldn’t have gotten much sleep.

After a Saturday-night game that lasted past midnight due to weather delays, Florida had a quick turnaround for a Sunday-afternoon matinee.

With a chance at sweeping the series against the Kentucky Wildcats on the line, the Gators (25-18, 8-13 SEC) fell flat, losing to the ‘Cats (24-20, 7-14 SEC) by a score of 8-1.

Freshman starting pitcher Ryan Slater was unable to keep UK off the board early, allowing four earned runs in just 3.1 innings. His seven-hit outing ended in the fourth, as head coach Kevin O’Sullivan replaced him with freshman Fisher Jameson. 

Jameson, in his longest appearance of his young career in Gainesville, weathered the storm. Working four innings, he allowed just two hits and one run while dealing five strikeouts.

Jameson’s efforts kept Florida within striking distance, trailing by just three as it entered the eighth inning. Holding the Gators back, though, were the bats. Florida’s lone score of the day came in the second inning, as sophomore second baseman Colby Halter plated sophomore shortstop Josh Rivera.

The play marked Halter’s second RBI in two games; he hadn’t recorded RBIs in back-to-back games since the Seton Hall series in early March.

Besides that play, though, the offense stayed silent. Florida registered three hits after the bottom of the second inning.

The Wildcats added three runs in the ninth, effectively ending the game, as the Gators struck out three-straight batters in a decisive bottom of the ninth.

Florida returns to play Tuesday at Condron Ballpark, facing off against the USF Bulls. First pitch of the weekday matchup is slated for 6 p.m., and will stream on SEC Network+.

Contact Carson Cashion at Follow him on Twitter @CarsonCashion

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Carson Cashion

Carson Cashion is a third-year sports journalism major at UF, and the sports editor at The Alligator for the 2022 summer semester. A native of Altamonte Springs, Carson spends his free time walking his dog, Baxter, and listening to good music. He is an avid Tennessee sports fan, and eagerly awaits watching one of his teams win a championship for the first time.

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