Florida baseball: 3 things learned from the Gators' series win over Alabama Crimson Tide

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida's infielder Cade Kurland (4) celebrates his two run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning against Alabama, Thursday March 16, 2023, at Condron Family Baseball Park in Gainesville, Florida. Florida beat Alabama 3-0. [Cyndi Chambers/ Gainesville Sun] 2023

Florida baseball took two of three games in its SEC opening series with Alabama last weekend at Condron Family Ballpark.

Brandon Sproat earned SEC pitcher of the week honors, firing a one-hit shutout as Florida beat Alabama 3-0 on Thursday. On Friday, Florida split a doubleheader, beating Alabama 8-7 in the first game before falling 6-3 in the nightcap.

The Gators are now 18-4 overall, 2-1 in the SEC.

"Any time you win a series, you got to feel good about it," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "But at the same time, when you have the opportunity to win three games on a weekend you just got to take advantage of it.”

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Here are three things learned from the conference series win:

The Gators have comeback ability

In Friday night's second game, the Gators rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for an 8-7 win.

Third baseman Colby Halter tied the score at 7 with a home run to left, then Josh Rivera delivered the walk-off hit, a game-winning infield single. Rivera homered earlier in the game, capping a 3-for-5 day with 2 RBI and two runs scored.

Michael Robertson is a capable leadoff hitter

Roberston, a redshirt freshman, went 4-for-11 in the three-game series with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI and one stolen base.

Robertson will be counted on in the leadoff spot for the foreseeable future as slugger Wyatt Langford continues to recover from testicular surgery, with second baseman Cade Kurland batting behind him.

Florida's bullpen remains shaky

The Gators had some shaky moments out of the pen in the final two games.

In the second game, Ryan Slater surrendered a solo homer in the 8th, breaking a 6-6 tie. In the third game, Brandon Neely gave up two runs (one earned) over three innings, including a two-run homer in the 8th inning that broke open a close 4-3 game.

Up next

The Gators play Tuesday night at rival Florida State (7 p.m., ACC Network).