Florida opens baseball series at Auburn with 4-2 win

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida's Colby Halter came through with a deep triple over the centerfielder's head to drive in a run.

AUBURN, Ala. — Florida's baseball team extended its winning streak to a season-best seven games Friday with a 4-2 win over Auburn.

Colby Halter's ninth-inning RBI triple broke a 2-2 tie, and Franco Alemán had a strong start with five strikeouts in 5.0 shutout innings, matching his longest career outing as the Gators improve to 27-11, 10-6 SEC.

Auburn (16-19, 2-14) had an early opportunity with two on and one out in the bottom of the third, but a Jacob Young outfield assist followed by an Alemán strikeout kept the Tigers off the board.

Jud Fabian launched Florida into the lead in the top of the fourth, following a Kirby McMullen single with a moon shot to left field for his 13th home run of the season and a 2-0 Gators lead.

Alemán gave way to Christian Scott in the sixth after issuing a leadoff walk, and Scott kept the inherited runner from crossing. Auburn tied the game, however, in the bottom of the seventh off a Ryan Bliss two-run home run.

Still tied it in the ninth, Kendrick Calilao drew a leadoff walk and Brock Edge entered the game as a pinch-runner. Halter came through with a deep triple over the centerfielder's head to drive Edge across, and Josh Rivera followed up with a base hit to drive Halter in for the insurance run.

"Colby Halter's triple to center field was a really big at-bat for us, and the Josh's (Rivera) at-bat to drive in the second run (of the ninth) was huge," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We got a lot of contributions from a lot of different people tonight, and hopefully this road win will help us moving forward."

Jack Leftwich worked a clean ninth to pick up his first save of the season and third of his career. Scott struck out four in 3.0 innings with two runs allowed and earned the win.

The teams continue the series with Saturday's start tentatively pushed back to 7 p.m. ET due to rain, with a final determination on start time expected at 1 p.m. The game will stream on SEC Network + and will be available on radio on 850-AM/98.1-FM.

Notes: Florida had 10 hits, the team's fifth straight game with double-digit hits. ... Fabian's 13 home runs lead the team and rank No. 2 in the SEC.