Gator Sportshop
Gator Ticket Office

Baseball Headline

The Gators celebrated gaining at least a share of the SEC Championship on Thursday.

Thursday May 15, 2014No. 13 Florida Baseball Clinches Share of SEC Title With 6-5 Win At Tennessee In 11 Innings

Knoxville, Tenn.

The Gators celebrated gaining at least a share of the SEC Championship on Thursday.

With a 6-5 victory over Tennessee in 11 innings, Florida clinched at least a share of the program’s 13th SEC Championship and secured the team’s 22nd Eastern Division title on Thursday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

 

No. 13 Florida (36-18/20-8 SEC) tied the game on a two-out double by sophomore Harrison Bader in the ninth inning and Bader scored the go-ahead run with two down in the 11th frame after stealing second and advancing around the bases on a pair of errors by Tennessee (30-21/11-17 SEC). The Gators need one more win or a loss by Ole Miss at Texas A&M this weekend to claim the league crown outright.

 

With the Vols holding a 5-4 lead in the ninth and two down, the Gators tied the game on an RBI double to right field by Bader (3-for-5) that brought junior Casey Turgeon (2-for-6) home. Turgeon had singled with one out off of sophomore Andrew Lee (4-4) and moved to second on a grounder by sophomore Richie Martin. Bader then delivered his fourth double of the year to plate the tying run.

 

In the 11th, Bader had a one-out single into left field and Lee had junior Taylor Gushue pop up for the second out. Bader was successful on his third theft of the game and the relay throw went into center field, where it was misplayed, enabling Bader to score what proved to be the winning run. Freshman Kirby Snead recorded the final three outs to collect his first save and preserve the win for junior Ryan Harris (3-1).

 

Tennessee had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out RBI double by freshman Nick Senzel that scored sophomore Christin Stewart (2-for-6), who had singled with two down against freshman Logan Shore.

 

Freshman Peter Alonso (2-for-5) gave the Gators a 3-1 advantage in the second inning with a three-run homer to left field after back-to-back singles by juniors Braden Mattson (1-for-5, two runs) and Zack Powers (2-for-5). It was his fourth big fly of the season.

 

Mattson drew a two-out walk in the fifth from freshman Hunter Martin and Powers expanded the Gators’ lead to 4-1 with a double off of the wall in right field.

 

Senior Taylor Smart (2-for-5) tied the game in the sixth with a three-run homer with two down. Sophomores Vincent Jackson and Derek Lance (2-for-5) started the inning with consecutive singles and were sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by sophomore A.J. Simcox. Sophomore Eric Hanhold replaced Shore (5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R) and struck out sophomore David Houser (2-for-4) before surrendering the round-tripper by Smart to left field that evened the score.

 

The Vols seized a 5-4 advantage in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Maddox that scored junior pinch runner Johnny Youngblood. Houser singled with one down and was replaced by Youngblood before Price singled for runners on the corners. Maddox blooped a base-hit into center field to move the hosts in front.

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On gaining at least a share of the SEC Championship:

“I’m really proud of what we were able to accomplish. Anytime you win 20 games in the best league in the country, it says a lot about how hard your kids have worked throughout the season. There’s been no quit in this team throughout the year and they always seem to find a way to get a W. At times, it’s not the prettiest in the world, but, in the end, a win’s a win.”

 

On the Gators’ pitching performance:

“Logan (Shore) gave us another solid start. (Bobby) Poyner came in and got some really big outs to keep us in the game and you can’t say enough about Kirby Snead – he’s a freshman that has been doing a great job for us and he had to face the top of the order to close things out.”

 

Game Notes

·         Florida gained at least a share of its 13th SEC Championship, first since 2011. Kevin O’Sullivan’s three titles (2010-11-14) match Dave Fuller (1948-75) for the most in school history.

·         UF has 20 victories in conference action for the eighth time – 1988-96-98-2002-05-10-11-14 – and has captured the SEC Championship on seven occasions when that has happened (all except 2002).

·         The Gators have now won the Eastern Division four times in O’Sullivan’s seven years at the helm (2009-10-11-14). Jay Bergman (1976-81) holds UF’s record with five East crowns (1977-81).

·         Florida’s total of 22 divisional titles is the most in the league, while LSU is second with 17.

·         The Gators improved to 15-6 in one-run games this season and are now 7-2 in extra-inning contests.

·         Florida notched its 15th come-from-behind win of the campaign and had been 2-17 when trailing after eight innings.

·         Logan Shore’s span of 14 straight scoreless innings ended on a two-out double in the first inning.

·         All four of Peter Alonso’s homers have come in SEC play and he has driven in a team-leading 23 runs in league games.

·         Harrison Bader was 3-for-5 and stole three bases in three opportunities.

·         With Kirby Snead’s first career save, eight different Gator pitchers have accounted for the team’s 19 saves.

·         Taylor Gushue was 1-for-3 with three walks and UF drew eight free passes on the night.

 

Up Next

The Gators and Vols will meet in game two of the series on Friday at 6 p.m. The contest can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.

 

Follow the Gators

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

 

 

Florida Athletics - A Championship Experience with Integrity - Vision Statement
  • University of Florida
  • NCAA
  • Sun Sports / Fox Sports Florida
  • IMG
  • SEC Network

© 1998 - 2014 University Athletic Assoc., Inc., Sun Sports & IMG College. All Rights Reserved.