Florida (45-18) used a little bit of everything to beat Georgia Tech (38-26). Senior center fielder Daniel Pigott and junior catcher Mike Zunino both drove in four runs and three different Gators crossed the plate three times each. Six pitchers combined to shut down the Yellow Jackets in the win, led by junior Brian Johnson who allowed just one run in five innings of work. Johnson improved to 8-4 on the season with the victory.
Florida doesn’t know its Super Regional opponent just yet, but the Gators do know they will host either Vanderbilt (35-27) or North Carolina State (42-18) in a three-game series next weekend. Florida swept Vandy in the regular season only to lose twice to the Commodores in the SEC Tournament. The Gators haven’t faced NC State this season.
It’s the weekend and for most students out there, it’s the summer break. While that doesn’t mean much besides warmer air and more annoying kids outside for all of you year-long workers, summer means more free time for students. We hope that you will be spending more time reading The Bull Gator, as I will be spending more time posting at it. That means it’s time for a new series at TBG. The Gators Video of the Day (GVOD for short) will feature, you guessed it, videos relating to the Florida Gators. They could be Gators athletes or homemade videos made by fans like ourselves. And if you have any suggestions for GVOD, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or TBG at email@example.com. We will try our best to live up to the “of the day” part of the title.
After Jonathon Crawford’s no-hitter on Friday, it’s only fitting to give the first GVOD of the year to the Florida baseball team. They produced a stunning version of Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe on what looks to be a team bus. It’s great to see that the guys are having some fun.
Here’s the cast list for the video:
Hudson Randall on the vocals
First row – left to right – Casey Turgeon, Nolan Fontana, Vickash Ramjit, Brian Johnson.
Second row – Preston Tucker, Mike Zunino
Bathroom gypsy – Keenan Kish
Last row – Austin “Mud Dog” Maddox
Let us know what you think. Who had the best part in the video? How did Florida baseball compare to Harvard’s rendition?
The Gators victory was fueled by another impressive pitching performance. Juniors Hudson Randall and Steven Rodriguez combined to allow 12 hits, but only two runs. The two managed to get out of trouble numerous times throughout the game as Georgia Tech left 10 runners on base.
Florida only needed nine hits to seal the win as those nine resulted in six runs. Power came from the usual sources as both junior catcher Mike Zunino and senior right fielder Preston Tucker went deep in the game.
The Gators don’t know their Sunday opponent just yet, but they do know that one more win pushes them forward. Florida will face either Georgia Tech or the College of Charleston at 6:00pm.
Crawford wasn’t even alive the last time a Florida pitcher threw a no-hitter. The last one – which also came in an NCAA Regional – was tossed 21 years ago by John Burke in 1991. That’s good and rare company for Crawford and something we won’t forget any time soon.
The win means the Gators will face Georgia Tech – who beat the College of Charleston 8-4 earlier on Friday – at 7:00pm on Saturday.
As is expected with being named the No. 1 seed, Florida was also named the host of an NCAA Regional. The Gainesville Regional will be made up of the Gators, Georgia Tech, the College of Charleston and Bethune-Cookman. Georgia Tech and the College of Charleston will start things off in the first game on Friday, June 1 at 1:00pm. Florida will take on Bethune-Cookman later that day at 7:00pm. The regional has games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A final game may be played on Monday if necessary.
The Gators were in position to claim the victory as they took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning. Junior relief pitcher Austin Maddox came in at that point to shut the door on the Commodores, but he would instead have an outing to forget. Three outs later and Vandy had added five runs to their total on five hits, exiting the ninth with an 8-4 lead. Florida put up two in the bottom of the ninth, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Florida heads to the NCAA Regionals with a record of 42-18. The 42 wins is tied for the third most under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan. The Gators will learn where they fall in the NCAA Tournament on Monday.
Thursday didn’t go exactly as planned for the Florida Gators. Pitching duel or offensive stagnancy, take your pick. Whatever the case, the Gators fell 2-1 to the Vanderbilt Commodores. While the Commodores advance to the semifinal, the loss pushed the Gators toward an elimination game on Friday against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Three total runs, nine total hits. That’s what Thursday’s game produced. On one hand, it was pitchers shutting down opposing batters. The starters only gave up five of those hits across a combined 11 and two-thirds innings. On the other, it was a lack of offense; something that has plagued the Gators throughout the second half of the season.
Florida and South Carolina find themselves in an unexpected spot. The Gators – ranked No. 2 – and the Gamecocks – ranked No. 4 – were probably not expecting to be fighting to not be eliminated on Friday, but that’s exactly what they’ll be doing. The game will start approximately 30 minutes after the completion of LSU and Mississippi State, which begins at 4:00pm.
Florida has Wednesday off and will be in action again on Thursday, May 24 at 9:00pm. The Gators play the winner of either the South Carolina Gamecocks or the Vanderbilt Commodores who face off on Wednesday. Vanderbilt beat Georgia 4-1 in its first game and South Carolina received a first-day bye.
The Florida Gators finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll. After a 3-1 final week, the Gators took the No. 2 spot from the South Carolina Gamecocks who fell to No. 4. The top spot went again to the Florida State Seminoles – a team Florida was 3-0 against this season (yes, we’ll keep reminding you of that as long as that record against the ‘Noles remains an undefeated one).
The LSU Tigers joined Florida and South Carolina from the SEC in the poll. The Tigers rose to No. 5, up from No. 9 the previous week. Future SEC opponent Texas A&M also finished the regular season in the top 10 at No. 8.
The polls no longer have meaning – as much fun as they are to discuss. The postseason has begun and focus goes far beyond the top 25. It’s that way during much of the regular season as well, but now amplified. There isn’t a goal to finish in the top five or ten; it’s to be No. 1.
Florida is looking up the seeding at the No. 1 LSU Tigers and the No. 2 South Carolina Gamecocks. The two gained the advantage of watching the first day unfold when the rest of the field will be in action.
The No. 3 seed earned Florida another game against Auburn. The two face each other for a fourth-straight time at 5:30pm on the tournament’s first day. The Gators are the favorite after taking two of three from the Tigers in the final series of the regular season, but they need to prove it when game time comes. The double-elimination tournament must start with a win for Florida as there are much tougher opponents ahead.