The Florida baseball team was able to take down the Tennessee Volunteers 3-2 in extra innings on Saturday night at McKethan Stadium. With the win, the Gators improved to 25-19 overall and 12-8 in the SEC. The Volunteers fell to 17-24 and 5-15 in conference play. UF is now 2-4 in extra inning games and it has won their past two games in extras.
Florida starter Jonathon Crawford got the start for the Gators. Crawford gave up back to back hits to start the game but then struck out the side to end the first. Crawford threw 4.2 innings, allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out five on 75 pitches. He left the game in the top of the fifth with two outs and the bases loaded. Lefty Daniel Gibson was called out of the bullpen and was able to get the final out of the inning and kept the game scoreless.
Florida got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth. Casey Turgeon was able to get on base via the lead off walk and then catcher Taylor Gushue doubled to left field to give the Gators the 1-0 lead. Gushue says he just tried to stay within himself after starting the game 0-for-2.
The Gators struck again in the bottom of the seventh when outfielder Harrison Bader drove in third baseman Josh Tobias on a one out base hit for a 2-0 advantage. Tennessee answered in the top of the eighth after Ryan Harris relieved Gibson and Gator coach Kevin O’ Sullivan turned to closer Johnny Magliozzi to get out of the eighth with runners on base. Magliozzi was able to get a ground ball to get out of the jam and kept the Gators out in front 2-1.
The Volunteers were able to get the tying run across the plate against Magliozzi and the Gators in the top of the ninth. He was able to rebound and struck out the last two batters to end the inning with the bases loaded. Gushue says even though Magliozzi didn’t have his best stuff he was still able to battle and not let the game get away.
Florida threatened to end the game in the bottom of the ninth but were turned away. However, the Gators were back in business after Turgeon lead off single in the bottom of the tenth. Gushue then doubled to right to give the Gators runners at second and third with no outs. Tennessee’s Trevor Bettencourt then intentionally walked Justin Shafer to load the bases for designated hitter Zack Powers who battled and finally got a walk off single to give the Gators the 3-2 win. Powers says he came to the plate with the goal of getting something he could drive.
It was the second walk-off win for the Gators this season. Florida enjoyed the walk-off magic on March 6th against Jacksonville. UF improved to 6-7 in one run games and have won their last five one-run contests.
The Gators improved to 4-3 in SEC series this spring after clinching the series win against the Volunteers. The Gators will go for the sweep on Sunday. Gushue says getting the win gives them the momentum going into the final game of the series.
Country 103-7 the Gator has the call between Florida and Tennessee beginning 12:55pm Sunday.