The Florida baseball team kept their SEC Tournament Championship hopes alive with a 5-1 victory over Mississippi State Friday night. Florida improves to .500 (57-57) all-time in SEC tournament play with the win. The game marked UF’s 16th win against a top 25 opponent this season.
Only two arms saw action on the hill for the Gators as Danny Young and Justin Shafer combined for nine impressive innings Young got the start, dealing 4.1 scoreless innings accounting for two strikeouts as well. However it would be Shafer that picked up the win in relief. Shafer gave up MSU’s only run, but was dominant in his longest outing of the year.
Florida would not look back after jumping ahead early in this ball game. The Gators put up two early runs in the second inning after Peter Alonso collected his 31st RBI of the year. Alonso wasn’t done in the game, adding one more RBI to his total when he drove in Braden Mattson in the top of the fourth inning.
Florida Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was pleased with his team’s performance.
“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.”
It was smooth sailing for the Gators after racking up single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, taking a 5-0 lead into the eighth. Florida would allow one MSU runner to reach home in the eighth, but quickly shut down any offensive threats that the Bulldogs posed.
Florida will take on Kentucky at 4:30 in the Tournament semifinals. The Gators will be seeking revenge after losing to the Wildcats earlier this week. Listen into the Gator IMG Sports Network where Mick Hubert and Jeff Cardozo will have the call.