Alabama faces elimination after loss to Florida
HOOVER, Ala. – Alabama mounted a late comeback effort, but it was not enough as the Crimson Tide fell, 7-2, against 13th-ranked Florida on Thursday afternoon in the 2021 SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met. The loss moved UA to 31-23 overall on the season and 2-1 in the Tournament.
The two teams went scoreless until the sixth when the Gators struck for one run. Florida added three runs apiece in the seventh and eighth innings to make it a 7-0 game. Alabama did not go quietly, crossing two runs in the bottom of the ninth before UF was able to get the final out and end things at 7-2.
Dylan Smith (1-8) was solid once again, tossing 5.0 scoreless frames before running into trouble in the sixth. The Gators were able to plate one in the sixth and three in the seventh to end Smith’s afternoon with the junior combining for 7.0 innings. Smith allowed four runs on nine hits and no walks with six punchouts across his 105 pitches. Florida starter Franco Aleman (2-4) picked up the win thanks to 7.0 scoreless innings.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
“First, congratulations to Florida. That’s a heck of a team and we just ran into a buzzsaw today. (Franco) Aleman, that had to be the best game he’s pitched this year. He used both sides of the plate with velo and life on his fastball, and he threw his secondary pitches around the zone. He was really good, but I thought Dylan Smith was every bit as good.”
How It Happened
- T6 | Nathan Hickey sent a ball over the wall in center for a solo home run. (1-0, Florida)
- T7 | A leadoff double followed by a bloop double one-out later added a tally for the Gators. After a stolen base, a 6-3 groundout crossed the man from third for a second run to empty the bases before a solo homer from Jacob Young went for a third run in the inning. (4-0, Florida)
- T8 | The Gators added three runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth. (7-0, Florida)
- B9 | Sam Praytor led off the inning with a walk. Zane Denton brought him home in the next at-bat with a single to left that was botched by the Gator fielder to allow Praytor to score and send Denton to second. Then, with two down, Jim Jarvis brought home Denton on another single to center to plate the inning’s second run. (7-2, Florida)
- Dylan Smith struck out six batters and has now totaled 106 this season. His 106 strikeouts rank as the fourth-most in a single season in Alabama program history. The Crimson Tide’s all-time leader is Wade LeBlanc with 128 in 2006.
- Smith has punched out five or more batters in 14 of his 15 starts this season.
Alabama will now meet with No. 4 Tennessee for a second time in the Tournament when the teams square off on Friday morning at 10 a.m. CT. Both starters are still to be announced for the elimination game. Fans can catch the Friday game live on SEC Network.