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Left-hander Danny Young pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in Friday's win. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Niblett)

Saturday May 24, 2014Florida Advances to SEC Tournament Semifinal With 5-1 Win Over Mississippi State

Left-hander Danny Young pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in Friday's win. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Niblett)

HOOVER, Ala. – The Florida pitching staff limited Mississippi State to a single run and the Gators defeated the Bulldogs 5-1 on Friday night to advance to the 2014 SEC Tournament Semifinals. UF will face Kentucky on Saturday in the second semifinal game, 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Arkansas-LSU semifinal (1:00 p.m. ET start time).

After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning with no damage, the Gators cruised and scored five runs to support another strong outing by the pitching staff.

Florida started the second inning with three-straight batters reaching base and plated two runs when a ball hit by Peter Alonso was booted by the shortstop into left field.

Buddy Reed provided the defensive highlight of the day with a full-extension, diving catch in the bottom of the third inning that earned him a spot on Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.

Florida added run in the fourth after Braden Mattson led off with a triple to left center field and scored on Alonso’s RBI single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.

In the sixth inning, the Gators took advantage of an MSU miscue as Alonso reached base on a wild pitch after striking out. He advanced to second on Buddy Reed’s groundout and scored on Josh Tobias’ single up the middle for a 4-0 lead.

Florida scored its final run in the seventh inning as Tobias led off with a single and Harrison Bader doubled to right center field. Taylor Gushue brought home the run with a RBI groundout.

Sophomore starting pitcher Danny Young gave the Gators a good start, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings with no walks and a pair of strikeouts. Justin Shafer came on in relief and allowed just one run on a pair of hits in his longest outing of the season.

 

Postgame Quotes
Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan
On today’s game:
“It’s one of those deals where you just try to play your best and hang on to play another day. I thought tonight was an all-around really good game. We had some really at bats, obviously [Harrison] Bader had a big night and [Taylor] Gushue had a couple of hits. Turgeon hit the ball hard multiple times and we did enough. The pitching was outstanding. Danny [Young] gave us a really good start and Shafer I think had his longest outing of the year. He threw the ball really, really well against a really tough lineup with a lot of left-handed hitters. We didn’t walk anybody and didn’t make any errors. When we do that we usually end up playing pretty good and it ends up being a pretty good game for us. We’re excited about still being in the tournament and playing Kentucky tomorrow. We’re looking forward to it.”

On the defensive play tonight:
“That play that Buddy [Reed] made in left field was outstanding. Then Richie [Martin] made one to his left and [Zack] Powers’ footwork behind the bag instead of staying on the bag. We made some really, really good plays tonight. I’m really pleased with how we’re playing and that’s a mark of maturity for these young players. Sometimes their bats don’t quite go the way they want to but they play good defense. We made some really good plays tonight and I’m really pleased with how we played tonight defensively.”

Game Notes

  • UF is now 57-57 all-time in SEC Tournament play.
  • With today’s win over No. 22 Mississippi State, the Gators are now 16-8 against Top 25 teams this season.
  • Harrison Bader is 7-for-12 (.583) in the SEC Tournament.
  • Buddy Reed laid down his team-leading 14th sacrifice bunt, which is also a school record.
  • Taylor Gushue added to his team leading 49th RBI with a groundout in the seventh inning.

Up Next

The Gators will play Kentucky on Saturday in game two of the SEC Tournament Semifinals. First pitch will be 30 minutes following the conclusion of Saturday’s first semifinal game between Arkansas and LSU (scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET). Both games will be broadcast live on ESPNEWS.

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.

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