ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

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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Video Recap: Auburn vs Florida Game 2

By on May 16th, 2015

Florida Baseball Postgame Video vs Auburn May 15th, 2015

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Friday Sports Update (5-15)

By on May 15th, 2015

A tough Florida baseball loss, Gator softball and women’s tennis in NCAA play, Gator track at SEC’s, playoff results and more in our Friday Sports Update…

** The Gator baseball team plays Game 2 of a three game series tonight against Auburn after losing last night at home 4-1 that officially eliminates the Gators from SEC title contention.

** Gator softball hosts an NCAA Regional starting today as the Gators face Florida A&M and Hofstra plays Florida Atlantic in the double elimination tournament.

** The Florida women’s tennis team plays Oklahoma State today in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Waco, Texas.

** The Gator track teams are at the SEC Championships at Mississippi State.

** Congratulations to Willison High School as it wins the Class 1A state championship in baseball 3-0 behind UF commit Austin Langworthy’s shutout on the mound.

** Quarterback Tom Brady has appealed his four game suspension in the Deflategate saga.

** In the NBA, Cleveland advances to the Eastern Conference final after downing Chicago 94-73 but Houston ties the series with the LA Clippers at 3-3 with a win.  Tonight, Golden State can close out Memphis and Atlanta can do the same to Washington.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay beats the New York Yankees 6-1 and now begin a series in Minnesota.  Atlanta is at Miami for the weekend.

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Florida Baseball Drops Game 1 to Auburn

By on May 15th, 2015

The Florida baseball team lost the first game of an SEC series for the fourth consecutive week, this time dropping a 4-1 decision to Auburn on Thursday night in Gainesville.  The loss officially eliminates the Gators from winning the SEC regular season title as they fall to 38-15 overall and to 17-11 in SEC play.   Auburn improves to 13-15 in SEC play.

Florida broke open a scoreless tie in the fifth inning when Dalton Guthrie got an RBI hit.  However, Auburn came right back in the sixth and scored two runs when UF outfielders Buddy Reed and Ryan Larson collided allowing Melvin Gray to hit a double to drive in the runs.

Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan had this to say about the play.

“The obvious turning point was when we had two outs in the sixth and the outfielders collided. It’s unfortunate, but you just can’t have those types of mistakes at this time of the year.”

UF starter Logan Shore had a solid start even though he picked up the loss; he pitched seven innings and allowed only those two runs.   The sophomore right-hander was also to retire 13 straight batters at one point in the game.

Auburn tacked on a couple late insurance runs to put Florida away, at one point getting five straight hits.  The win went to starter Cole Lipscomb (7-2) who pitched into the seventh inning.  Reliever Justin Camp finished up and picked up his eighth save of the year.

The Tigers and Gators will meet again tonight in Game Two of the series.  A.J. Puk will get the start for Florida. Catch all the action at 6:55 pm on ESPN 850 WRUF.

Sound from the game…

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Florida Baseball Hosts Auburn In Final Regular Season Showdown

By on May 14th, 2015

It is closing time for Florida baseball’s regular season as they wrap things up against Auburn in a series at home that starts Thursday.  The Gators (38-14, 17-10 SEC) will face an Auburn team (33-20, 12-15 SEC) that is trying to make the NCAA Tournament field but they were swept last weekend by rival Alabama.

The Orange and Blue will have ace Logan Shore out on the mound Thursday night in hopes of out dealing one of the SEC’s best, Auburn’s Cole Lipscomb. Lipscomb enters Gainesville with a 6-2 record alongside a 2.47 ERA. Shore matches with similar numbers at 6-5 with a 2.85 ERA. As for the rest of the weekend the only other named starter for either side is Florida’s A.J. Puk who gets the nod for Friday’s game.

Florida should enter this week’s match up with confidence after taking two of three on the road against Vanderbilt last week. Florida sits just one game back of the Commodores in the SEC standings with just three games left to play before the SEC tournament.

Gator head coach Kevin O’Sullivan says that SEC baseball is a grind.

“Anytime you have a chance to win the SEC regular season title, you have to feel good about it. We’ve been very fortunate, for the most part we have been relevant at the end of the year and I think that is a goal of ours.”

First pitch on Thursday will be at 7. Catch the game on ESPN 850 starting at 655.

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Gator Football Gets 2016 Verbal; McElwain Talks QB Situation, More

By on May 14th, 2015

In a conference call with fellow SEC Eastern Division football coaches, Florida coach Jim McElwain talked about quarterbacks, lack of depth and about spring practice in general.

McElwain confirmed that quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg will transfer to Columbia University, leaving UF with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the team.   McElwain would not comment on specific quarterbacks they might be looking to add but he did say they are looking to improve the roster.

“We look every single day to try to better the organization,” McElwain said.  ” If they’re a fit, we’ll go ahead and do everything we can to get our balance back to where it needs to be.”

Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has visited UF and two other quarterbacks, Oregon State’s Luke Del Rio and Vanderbilt’s Josh Grady, are other names talked about that Florida could be looking to add to its quarterback roster.

McElwain also talked about a continued lack of depth on the offensive line, saying he even donned an offensive line number to help out.   On a more serious note, he said the lack of depth at some positions is just the way it is right now.

” We’ve got some really good players here; we’re thin in some areas and that’s pretty obvious and yet, that was the hand we’re dealt and I look forward to trying to piece that thing together and yet there’s gonna probably be a lot of new names on the roster as we’re moving forward but at the end of the day these guys came here to win a championship and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

Florida also picked up a 2016 verbal commitment in junior college running back Mark Thompson, a 6’2″ 230 pounder who played for Dodge City Community College in Kansas.   UF now has 11 members in the 2016 class.

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Thursday Sports Update (5/14)

By on May 14th, 2015

Transfers, rumors, Gator sports, playoff news and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The Gator football team has lost quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg, who will transfer to Columbia University, leaving the Gators with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster at this time.   However, the coaching staff is looking at players at the position like Luke Del Rio or Josh Grady who could transfer in to the school.

** Florida also confirmed what has been rumored for days in that starting cornerback JC Jackson is no longer in school after his arrest last month in an armed robbery case.

** Some good news for Gator football; it picks up a 2016 verbal commitment in running back Mark Thompson, a junior college pick up.   He should enroll in school in January.

** The Gator baseball team opens its last SEC series of the year tonight at home against Auburn.   Catch the action live on ESPN 850 starting at 6:55 pm.

** The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the New York Rangers in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals after the Rangers beat Washington 2-1 in overtime to advance.

** The Atlanta Hawks go up 3-2 on Washington in the NBA playoffs with an exciting 82-81 win as former Gator Al Horford hits the winning shot with just over a second to play.   Golden State also goes up 3-2 in its series with Memphis with a 98-78 win.   Tonight, Cleveland is at Chicago up 3-2 and the LA Clippers host Houston up 3-2.

**  In baseball, Tampa Bay beats the New York Yankees 3-2 while Miami nips the LA Dodgers 5-4 and Cincinnati beats slumping Atlanta 5-1.  Atlanta and Miami are off today while the Rays host the Yankees.

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Wednesday Sports Update (5/13)

By on May 13th, 2015

A Gator hoops signee leaves, playoff results, a former Gator inks his NFL deal and more in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** Several media reports today are saying that forward Noah Dickerson, a UF hoops signee, will opt to play elsewhere.  Florida still hopes three other signees will stay in the fold.

** According to Sports Illustrated, former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has met with Florida coaches about the possibility of transferring to UF.   To do so, he would have to get a special waiver from the SEC.

** Former Gator Dante Fowler has signed his NFL contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  He joins other former Gators like running back Matt Jones and wide receiver Quinton Dunbar who have signed their deals.  The Denver Broncos also pick up kick returner Solomon Patton as well.

** In the NBA, Cleveland gets 38 from LeBron James to defeat Chicago 106-101 to go up 3-2 in that series.  And James Harden had a triple-double for Houston as the Rockets beat the LA Clippers 124-103 to stay alive in that series.  Tonight, Washington is at Atlanta tied 2-2 and Golden State hosts Memphis tied 2-2.

** The Tampa Bay Lightning advance in the NHL playoffs after beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 last night.  Tampa Bay will play the winner of tonight’s game between Washington and the New York Rangers.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay beat the New York Yankees 4-2 while Atlanta loses 4-3 to Cincinnati and Miami loses to the LA Dodgers.

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Tuesday Sports Update (5/12)

By on May 12th, 2015

A new Gator men’s basketball coach is officially introduced; Tom Brady suspended, playoffs in hockey and basketball, MLB results and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** New Gator men’s basketball coach Michael White has been officially introduced as Florida’s new coach.   He will bring his staff with him from Louisiana Tech to serve as assistants and he has also reached out to the Gator signees as well with no decisions coming from them yet as to whether they will stay or go.

** In the NFL, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended for four games for his role in “Deflategate.”  In addition, the team was fined $1 million and it will lose draft picks, including a number one pick, next year.

** In the NBA playoffs, Atlanta and Washington now stand 2-2 after the Hawks win last night 106-101 and Golden State tied its series with Memphis at 2-2 with a win.  Tonight, Chicago is at Cleveland tied 2-2 and the LA Clippers are at Houston up 3-1.

** In the NHL playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to close out the Montreal Canadiens tonight in Tampa Bay; the Lightning lead the series 3-2.

** In baseball, Atlanta edges Cincinnati 2-1; the New York Yankees clobber Tampa Bay 11-5 and the Miami Marlins lose 5-3 to the LA Dodgers.

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Gator Softball Set To Host NCAA Regional

By on May 12th, 2015

Even though the Florida Gator softball team didn’t win the SEC Tournament, they were still selected as the number one overall seed heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Gators will be hosting a NCAA Regional with Florida A&M (18-37), Florida Atlantic (37-17-1), and Hofstra (37-12-1) coming to Gainesville this weekend.

The Regional will play Friday thru Sunday in a double-elimination format. Florida hasn’t faced any of the teams in their region. The winner of this region will advance to the Super Regional to face the winner of the South Bend Regional with Notre Dame (40-13), Kentucky (29-24), Northwestern (28-21), and Ball State (33-23) competing there.

The Gators are 29-18 all-time in Regional play; their first game will be on Friday against Florida A&M after Florida Atlantic and Hofstra face off at 3:30 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

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