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Florida Baseball Set for SEC Tournament

By on May 20th, 2015

The Florida baseball team will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks Wednesday night in their opening SEC tournament game. Florida earned the tournament’s fourth seed after finishing 19-11 in regular season conference play.

Last time Florida matched up against Arkansas was in 2014 when UF took two of three games from the Razorbacks. Dane Dunning faced off against the Razorbacks on the mound in that series, setting a then career high of five strikeouts in 4.1 innings.  He will get the start against Arkansas tonight and goes in  5-2 on the year with a 3.54 ERA.

Offensively Florida will be led by senior Josh Tobias who is batting .366 this season. He enters the SEC tournament on a 12 game hit streak, a career high. Harrison Bader has been struggling as of late. Bader is batting .222 in SEC play.

Arkansas defeated Tennessee 2-1 Tuesday night following a walk-off double in the ninth inning.  The Razorbacks feature SEC Player of the Year Andrew Benintendi and a solid pitching staff as Arkansas improved to 34-20 on the year with the win over Tennessee.

Live coverage of the game will begin at approximately 9:25 pm on Country 103-7 The Gator.

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Tuesday Sports Update (5/19)

By on May 19th, 2015

The SEC Baseball Tournament gets underway, a big road win for the Tampa Bay Lightning and a new manager for the Miami Marlins in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The SEC Baseball Tournament gets underway with four games today in Hoover, Alabama.   Six seed Ole Miss faces 11 seed Alabama to open up action at 10:30 am followed by seven seed Missouri facing 10 seed South Carolina.   Night action has eight seed Kentucky facing nine seed Auburn and five seed Arkansas taking on 12 seed Tennessee.

** The Coaches All-SEC Team was released and no Gators make first team.   Catcher Mike Rivera, DH JJ Schwarz and third baseman Josh Tobias make the second team.  Rivera, Schwarz and Dalton Guthrie make the All-SEC Freshman team.

** It’s official; UF will keep three of its four men’s basketball signees in the wake of the departure of coach Billy Donovan.   KeVaughn Allen, Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone are all now committed and signed to UF.

** The Tampa Bay Lightning even their Eastern Conference Final series with the New York Rangers with a 6-2 road win last night.   Game 3 moves to Tampa.

** In the NFL, former Gator Brandon Spikes signs a deal with the New England Patriots, a team he left two years ago with some bitter words to go to Buffalo.   Former Gator tight end Tevin Westbrook signs with Tennessee and former Gator Josh Shaw signs a deal with Cincinnati.

** The NBA is back in action tonight as Houston is at Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.   Also tonight, the NBA Draft Lottery.

** In baseball, the Miami Marlins brought down general manager Dan Jennings to be the new manager after Mike Redmond was fired but the Marlins lost his first game last night, 3-2 to Arizona.   Also tonight, Tampa Bay hosts Atlanta in a game you can hear on ESPN 850 at 7 pm.

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Florida Women’s Tennis Season Ends at NCAA quarterfinals

By on May 19th, 2015

The third time was not the charm for the Florida women’s tennis team when it came to taking on Vanderbilt. The Gators fell to the Commodores 4-3 on Sunday, ending their run to the NCAA title in the quarterfinals.

The critical doubles point was decided after heated matches. Court three fell early, 8-1. Court one tied it up with an 8-5 victory. The real tension started when Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock sent their match into a tiebreak. Florida took the early lead 5-3, but Vanderbilt came back to go up 6-5. The pairs traded points until the Commodores went ahead 10-8 and won the doubles point.

Despite losing the doubles point, the Gators started strong in singles play jumping to an early 3-1 lead. With only needing one more match win and three more matches in play, the odds seemed to be bright. Brianna Morgan put up a fight but dropped her match, 6-2 and 6-4, cutting the lead to one point. Peggy Porter and Kuhlman both went into a third set, but came up short after trading games, with Vanderbilt clinching the win after Kuhlman’s match.

However, the season isn’t over for some Gators, with four individuals qualifying for NCAA singles play and two for doubles. Brooke Austin, Kuhlman, Kourtney Keegan, and Morgan will participate in singles action. Austin and Keegan will compete as a pair in the doubles competition. Woolcock is listed as an alternate for singles.

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Monday Sports Update (5/18)

By on May 18th, 2015

Gator sports, NBA playoffs, a big league manager is fired and more in our Monday Sports Update…

** The Florida softball team will host a Super Regional this weekend after it won its NCAA Regional with a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic Sunday.   The Gators will now play Kentucky, the winner of the Notre Dame Regional, in a best two of three series with the winner going to the College World Series.

** A lot of Gator opponents advanced to Super Regional play in softball as well; FSU, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Tennessee are among the teams that play on.

** The Gator men’s track team brings home an SEC title this weekend and it allows Florida to narrowly win the All-Sports Trophy for the SEC, edging out Texas A&M.

** The season is over for the Florida women’s tennis team as it loses to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

** In baseball, the Miami Marlins fire manager Mike Redmond after being swept over the weekend by Atlanta.   Tampa Bay beat Minnesota 11-3 Sunday.   The Braves are at Tampa Bay Tuesday and Miami hosts Arizona tonight.

** James Harden scores 31 points to help the Houston Rockets beat the LA Clippers 113-100 to advance Houston to the NBA Western Conference Finals, where they will play Golden State.

** In the NHL, Tampa Bay is at the New York Rangers tonight down 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.   Anaheim dropped Chicago 4-1 to go up 1-0 in the Western Conference Final.

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Regular Season Recap for Florida Baseball

By on May 18th, 2015

The Florida baseball team clawed their way to 40 wins this season and finished in fourth place in the SEC. Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said this team had a solid year.

“It’s not how you draw it up, but this team shows a lot of resiliency. It’s not easy to lose Game One (of a three game series) and to come back and win games two and three. We got 40 wins during the regular season and that isn’t easy to do.”

A few freshmen stepped up for UF offensively this season. J.J. Schwarz, Mike Rivera, and Dalton Guthrie combined for 108 RBI. Harrison Bader played a key role early on in the season but has since been in a slump. Bader is batting below .300 heading into the conference tournament.

On the mound Florida sophomore Logan Shore pitched well but struggled to get run support behind him. Because of this he ended up with six losses, something that wasn’t a good representation of his outings this season. Taylor Lewis has played a big role in relief this season. In 39.2 innings on the mound Lewis is 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA.

Lewis said this about his role on the bump.

“To tell you the truth, as long as we win, I don’t care what I do. I just try to come in whenever they call me and do my job.”

Florida struggled in series openers this season losing those match ups in the last four weeks of the season. But this team fought back to finish the year with 40 wins. At home Florida was dominant losing just six games at McKethan Stadium.

And defensively, this was the best team in school history and one of the best in the nation all year long.

Next up is the SEC Tournament, where Florida will play Wednesday night as the winner of the Arkansas-Tennessee game.  A good showing here could allow Florida to host an NCAA Regional and be a top eight national seed, which guarantees home field advantage in the postseason as long as you win.

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Gator Softball Tries To Win NCAA Regional at Home

By on May 17th, 2015

The top ranked Florida softball team is just one win away from advancing to an NCAA Super Regional after so far going unbeaten in an NCAA Regional it is hosting this weekend.

Florida plays Florida Atlantic today and needs to beat them once in the double elimination tournament to advance.

If Florida does advance, it would host the NCAA Super Regional against the winner of the Notre Dame regional.

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Video Recap: Auburn vs Florida Game Three

By on May 17th, 2015

Florida Baseball Postgame Video vs Auburn May 16, 2015

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Florida Women’s Tennis advances to NCAA quarterfinals

By on May 17th, 2015

The fifth ranked Florida women’s tennis team blanks 16th ranked Oklahoma State to book their trip to the quarterfinals in the NCAA Tournament in Texas. With dominant performances in singles play, the victories came pouring in leading to the 4-0 finish.

In doubles play, the Gators started out with an early lead on courts two and three. Spencer Liang and Peggy Porter were forced into a tiebreak on three where they took an early 3-2 lead before getting tied up at 4-all. The pair knocked out four straight points to get the win on a Cowgirls double fault, 8-7.

Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock led on court two 5-3, before trading games with Oklahoma State until it was tied at 6. The Gators broke the tie and took the next two games getting the win, and clinching the doubles point, 8-6.

Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan played a heated doubles match where they trailed 7-4 at the end. The pair held off multiple match points to give Florida a chance at the early lead.

In singles play, the Gators used the momentum from doubles to start off strong. Five of six first sets went to Florida. Brianna Morgan got the winning started when she swept her match in two 6-1 sets. Keegan followed soon after winning her match 6-2, 6-1. Kuhlman was down 5-2 in the second set of her match, after winning the first set, but claimed five straight games to comeback and get the win 6-3, 7-5. Kuhlman’s victory clinched the match, and pushed Florida forward to the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive season.

The Gators will take on Vanderbilt on Sunday at 5 pm. Florida is 0-2 against the Commodores this season but are 4-0 against them in NCAA action.

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Florida Softball Wins NCAA Regional Game; Women’s Tennis Wins Too

By on May 16th, 2015

The top ranked Florida softball team advances in an NCAA regional it is hosting by beating Florida A&M 6-0 Friday in Gainesville.

Florida freshman Aleshia Ocasio got the start in the circle for the Gators and threw a one hit shutout to get the win.   She fanned 17, tying a Florida record for most strikeouts in a game.

The Gators got all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first as Nicole DeWitt hit an RBI double; she would later score on an error.  Florida would add a run in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth inning on a bases loaded walk to Kirsti Merritt.

Florida now plays Hofstra today, a 1-0 winner over Florida Atlantic.

GATOR WOMEN’S TENNIS ADVANCES IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

The Florida women’s tennis team makes it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 win over Oklahoma State on Friday in Texas.   The Gators now face SEC rival Vanderbilt to try and advance to the Final Four.

 

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Florida Baseball Downs Auburn, Ties Series

By on May 16th, 2015
Florida starting pitcher A.J. Puk delivers a pitch in the first inning of Friday's game. The Gators defeated Auburn 4-3.

Florida starting pitcher A.J. Puk delivers a pitch in the first inning of Friday’s game. The Gators defeated Auburn 4-3.

The #7 Florida baseball team (39-15, 18-11 SEC) rallies from an early deficit to defeat the Auburn Tigers (34-21, 13-16 SEC) 4-3 Friday to tie their final regular season series at one game each.

The Tigers knocked around Florida starter A.J. Puk, and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Puk, who had been outstanding in his previous two starts – racking up 23 strikeouts over that span – struggled, only lasting 3 1/3 innings while giving up three runs.

The Gators would not stay down for long, as they struck back with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the fourth inning, with RBIs coming from shortstop Richie Martin, third baseman Josh Tobias and first baseman Peter Alonso, who would add the go-ahead RBI in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly.

Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked about the win for his team.

“This has been a hard series. This is one of those things where we have had to grind out everything we’ve gotten. Auburn hasn’t given us anything. We could’ve easily hung our heads after we fell behind in the second, but we battled, and this is another gut-check win that we desperately needed.”

Despite Puk’s struggles in the game, two pitchers came on in relief shutting the door on Auburn. Senior Aaron Rhodes and sophomore Kirby Snead combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk over that time.

Rhodes talked about his performance.

“It means a lot, especially during Senior Weekend to do that for the team. It’s crazy to think that my career is already almost over here at Florida. It was exciting to go out there and throw up a few zeros.”

The win clinched a top four seed for the Gators in the SEC tournament, giving them a bye in the first round.

The Gators will look to grab a series-clinching win on Senior Day to send off Bobby Poyner, Aaron Rhodes and Josh Tobias in their final regular season home game.

First pitch on Sunday is set for 1 p.m; Country 103-7 The Gator has live coverage at 12:55 pm.

For sound from the game, click below.

Peter Alonso on importance of win

Alonso on momentum going into the tournament

Aaron Rhodes on his performance

Rhodes on his approach on the mound

Rhodes on A.J. Puk’s importance to the team

Kevin O’Sullivan on the senior contribution

O’Sullivan on leaving Snead in the game

O’Sullivan on Josh Tobias’ defense

O’Sullivan on Harrison Bader’s struggles

O’Sullivan on importance of this weekend’s series in the SEC

O’Sullivan on the team’s position

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