The postseason has officially begun for Florida Gators baseball (35-19, 17-13 SEC). The sixth-seeded Gators take on the 11-seed Kentucky Wildcats (29-22, 12-18 SEC) on Tuesday morning for the first round of the SEC Tournament.
The top-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks swept the Gators to conclude their regular season. However, Florida will look to bounce back in their tournament matchup with Kentucky.
The Wildcats are coming off of a series loss to No. 2 Vanderbilt. Kentucky managed to avoid the sweep with a Game 3 victory, 7-5.
OFFICIAL: 2021 #SECTourney Bracket
See y'all in Hoover ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/VbQ4g7eTMW
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) May 22, 2021
Florida, Kentucky Recap
In the first weekend of May, the Gators traveled to Lexington for a matchup with the Wildcats. The Gators claimed the series, winning two out of three games.
Kentucky took the first game of the series with a 5-7 win. Florida tied the series in Game 2 with an 8-5 victory. The arms of Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich lifted the Gators over the Wildcats in Game 2.
In a winner-take-all Game 3, the Gators claimed a 9-2 win with freshman pitcher Hunter Barco on the mound. Florida pitchers combined for a total 30 strikeouts and allowed 30 hits across the three-game stint.
Florida’s Jacob Young had an impressive series. The left fielder recorded seven RBIs and five hits against the Wildcats.
For Kentucky, Cam Hill recorded five RBIs on four hits again Florida pitchers.
On Monday afternoon, the SEC announced year-long awards. Center fielder and the Gators home run leader Jud Fabian earned All-SEC First Team and All-Defensive Team. Fabian leads the Gators with 20 home runs while recording 46 RBIs on the season.
Pitcher Hunter Barco and utility player Nathan Hickey earned Newcomer All-SEC. Barco spent the majority of the season as the Gators Game 2 starter. He holds a (9-2) record and a 4.04 season ERA.
Hickey leads the Gators RBIs (47) and comes in second for hits (62) behind Jacob Young.
Right fielder Sterlin Thompson was named Freshman All-SEC. Thompson holds a .306 batting average with four home runs and 22 RBIs.
SEC Conference Rankings
The 2021 SEC Baseball Tournament will be one for the rankings. Currently, six SEC teams sit in the D1 Baseball Top 25.
Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Arkansas all currently hold a first-round bye. The winner of the Florida and Kentucky game will go on to face the three-seeded Mississippi State.