The Florida Gators showed the Kentucky baseball team why they’re ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Nelson Maldonado hit two home runs, Florida’s batters drew 10 walks to match their 10 hits, and the Gators pounded Kentucky 12-5 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium. It was Florida’s 17th win in a row.
Kentucky starting pitcher Zack Brown struggled with his control, walking six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up both of Maldonado’s home runs, a solo shot in the third and a two-run blast in the fourth.
Maldonado is only a .211 hitter, but four of his 12 hits this season are home runs.
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Florida starter Logan Shore allowed just one run over the first five innings, but Kentucky (15-6) rattled him in the sixth. The first three Cats reached to load the bases, and Gunnar McNeill followed with a two-run single to chase Shore. Luke Becker’s single cut Florida’s lead to 7-4.
Florida (23-1) scored five runs in the ninth without making an out. McNeill, who had two of UK’s six hits, came on in relief and retired all three batters he faced to end the inning.
Florida at Kentucky
What: Game 2 of a three-game series
When: 2 p.m.
Where: Cliff Hagan Stadium
TV: SEC Network Plus (online only)
Radio: WLAP-AM 630
Tickets: Adults, $5; kids/seniors, $2