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Wednesday May 14, 2014No. 13 Florida Baseball Heads To Tennessee Seeking SEC Championship

Knoxville, Tenn.

No. 13 Florida completes its regular season with a three-game set at Eastern Division rival Tennessee. Game times at Lindsey Nelson Stadium will be at 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Entering the final conference series, the Gators (35-18/19-8 SEC) lead No. 14 Ole Miss (38-15/17-10 SEC) by two games and have a three-game advantage in the Eastern Division over No. 8 South Carolina (40-13/16-11 SEC) and No. 9 Vanderbilt (39-14/16-11 SEC).

 

The entire series can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Saturday’s game will be carried on CSS (Channels 259 and 1259 HD in Gainesville) and on WatchESPN with Rusty Ensor and Matt Stewart.

 

Live stats for each game will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.

 

PITCHING PROBABLES

                                No. 13 Florida (35-18/19-8 SEC)                     Tennessee (30-20/11-16 SEC)

Thursday:              Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (7-2, 1.47)                    Hunter Martin, Fr., RHP (4-3, 2.85)

Friday:                    TBA                                                                        Nick Williams, Sr., RHP (5-4, 3.32)

Saturday:               TBA                                                                        TBA

 

QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS

·         While the Gators have clinched at least a share of the East with 19 league wins, one more victory will nail down the program’s 22nd divisional flag outright.

·         Now in his seventh season, Kevin O’Sullivan is aiming for his third SEC Championship to match the school record held by Dave Fuller (1948-75). O’Sullivan guided the Gators to back-to-back titles in 2010-11, while Fuller directed UF to league crowns in 1952, 1956 and 1962.

·         Florida dropped two of three games to then-No. 10 Vanderbilt last weekend to suffer its first SEC series loss of the year in Gainesville.

·         UF established a school record with its 12th-straight SEC win last Thursday night, 1-0, but the Commodores rebounded to take the next two contests.

·         O’Sullivan’s club enters the final series holding a two-game lead over No. 14 Ole Miss overall and a three-game edge over No. 8 South Carolina and No. 9 Vanderbilt in the Eastern Division.

·         The Gators are seeking the program’s 13th SEC title, first since 2011, and have already clinched a share of the East for their league-best 22nd divisional crown.

·         While Florida visits Tennessee, Ole Miss travels to Texas A&M and South Carolina and Vanderbilt will collide in Nashville.

·         Freshman RHP Logan Shore earned the SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the first time on Monday after tossing 7.1 scoreless innings in the opener with Vanderbilt in which he set a career best with eight strikeouts and permitted two singles.

·         Shore and junior left-hander Bobby Poyner combined on a two-hit shutout as Florida downed the Commodores in game one. After Shore (7-2, 1.47) worked his magic on the hill to capture his fourth-straight start, while Poyner (4-3, 3.83) set down all five batters he faced and totaled three strikeouts to collect his fourth save.

·         UF is 14-6 (.700) in one-run games this season, the most wins in the nation in that category.

·         Despite the series loss to Vanderbilt, Florida is 14-8 (.636) against ranked opponents this season, the most top-25 wins in the SEC.

·         The Gators are 23-11 (.676) at McKethan Stadium this spring after going 20-16 (.556) last year.

·         Freshman LHP Kirby Snead (3-0, 2.05) threw 3.1 scoreless innings to earn the win over USF. The southpaw has not allowed a run in 12 appearances dating back to April 6 at Kentucky.

·         Junior Taylor Gushue continues to pace the Orange and Blue in the “Triple Crown” categories with a .317 batting average, 42 RBI and five homers.

·         Before last Sunday’s finale, UF recognized its three seniors in pregame ceremonies, right-hander Keenan Kish, first baseman/outfielder Zack Powers and right-hander Karsten Whitson.

·         Sophomore Richie Martin went 3-for-3 and scored three runs on Tuesday night. He also stole his team-leading 16th stolen base.

·         Freshman Buddy Reed went 4-for-9 (.444) in the series with Vanderbilt, while sophomore Harrison Bader and Martin were each 3-for-10 (.300).

 

SERIES NUGGETS

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 13-5 (.722) against Tennessee, 8-1 (.889) at McKethan Stadium and 5-4 (.556) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. UF has captured the last five regular-season series after the Vols had reeled off five-straight series wins. Dating back to 1986, the winner of the opener between the Gators and Vols has gone on to take the regular-season series 25 of 28 times (exceptions: 2000, UF wins last two; 1995, UT wins last two; 1990, UF wins last two).

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