Florida designated hitter Brian Johnson hit a grand slam home run in the seventh inning to give the Gators a lead they would not give up and Florida goes on to beat Mississippi State 7-5 Wednesday in the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.
Florida now plays Alabama, a 7-4 winner over Arkansas, today at 5:30pm eastern time and you can hear the game live on WRUF Sports Radio 850.
Florida trailed 5-2 going to the seventh but Bryson Smith started the inning by being hit by a pitch. Preston Tucker walked and that brought in a new pitcher, reliever Luis Pollorena. He gave up a single to catcher Mike Zunino to load the bases before Johnson delivered his slam, a high drive over the fence in right field.
The Gators chose to start Tommy Toledo on the mound but once again it was good relief pitching that won the game for Florida. After Nick Maronde and Greg Larson gave up runs, lefty Steven Rodriguez and righty Austin Maddox close out the Bulldogs over the final two and two thirds innings, giving up no runs.
Rodriguez (3-1) gets the win with Maddox getting his fourth save. The win was Florida’s first in the first game of the SEC Tournament since 2005.