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  • pete alonso, harrison bader, alfred a mckethan stadium, university of florida, gainesville, florida

    Pete Alonso and Harrison Bader celebrate following Bader's solo home run in the first inning on Friday. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Florida Gators
claim SEC Championship

Written by Nick de la Torre, May 25, 2015, 0 Comments,
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After two lengthy rain delays, the Florida Gators (44-16), outslugged, outpitched and outlasted the Vanderbilt Commodores (42-19) to capture their seventh SEC Tournament Championship with a 7-3 win on Sunday.

The road wasn’t easy for Florida. The Gators lost their first game in Hoover to Arkansas and faced three elimination games in a row to claw their way into the championship. Otherworldly pitching performances from Logan Shore and A.J. Puk got them through the first two games before the bullpen and late-inning heroics from Mike Rivera helped vault Florida into Sunday’s championship.

The Gators wouldn’t leave anything to doubt on Sunday, pouncing on Vanderbilt starter Ryan Johnson in the first inning. Freshman Dalton Guthrie sat out after injuring his wrist in the ninth inning on Saturday. It was the first time this season Guthrie hasn’t led off and played second base. In his place was junior Harrison Bader, who had broken out of a 0-8 slump on Saturday and stayed hot on Championship Sunday. Bader worked a seven-pitch at-bat, sending the seventh offering from Johnson over the wall in left-center to give Florida a 1-0 lead. Pete Alonso singled home Buddy Reed later in the inning to stretch the lead to two.

Vanderbilt scored one in the bottom of the frame before Christin Hicks singled with one out in the top of the second. Bader reached on a fielder’s choice before the sky opened up for the first time, chasing both teams into their respective dugouts.

When play resumed Buddy Reed doubled to left center to bring Bader home and later scored on a Josh Tobias single. Florida’s 4-1 advantage would be more than they needed but they weren’t done yet.

The Gators and Commodores traded runs in the third and Vanderbilt pulled the score to 5-3 with another run in the fourth. Florida added two more runs in the fifth inning as both teams had to be warned by the home plate umpire about the chatter and chippiness that was starting to develop.

Kevin O’Sullivan turned to Danny Young in the fourth inning and the lefty was lights out. Young retired the first nine batters he face before surrendering a double. He responded by getting a flyout to send the game to the eighth inning. Young gave up his second hit to Dansby Swanson in the eighth before Shaun Anderson replaced him, earning a strikeout and then handed the ball to Kirby Snead. Snead worked 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball, earning the last five outs of the game.

“Unfortunately, this doesn’t help us for next weekend. It’s a new tournament and a new season,” O’Sullivan said. “I am pleased with how we played this week. We had a very difficult loss on Wednesday. Arkansas played great. We battled back and played some really good teams.”

2015 SEC Baseball Tournament All-Tournament Team

Starting Pitcher: A.J. Puk, FLORIDA
Starting Pitcher: Matt Kent, Texas A&M
Relief Pitcher: Taylor Lewis, FLORIDA
Catcher/Designated Hitter: JJ Schwarz, FLORIDA
First Base: Peter Alonso, FLORIDA & Zander Wiel, Vanderbilt
Second Base: Jared Foster, LSU
Third Base: Will Toffey, Vanderbilt
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Trey Harris, Missouri
Outfield: Buddy Reed, FLORIDA
Most Valuable Player: JJ Schwarz, FLORIDA

The Gators will find out on Monday at 12 p.m. who they will open the NCAA Tournament against when the 64-team field is revealed on ESPNU.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2015-04-11_91_david-Bowie_florida-Gators-Florida-Baseball-Usc-Gamecocks-Mckethan-Stadium-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre BaseballFeature ,,,,,,,,,
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After two lengthy rain delays, the Florida Gators (44-16), outslugged, outpitched and outlasted the Vanderbilt Commodores (42-19) to capture their seventh SEC Tournament Championship with a 7-3 win on Sunday.

The road wasn’t easy for Florida. The Gators lost their first game in Hoover to Arkansas and faced three elimination games in a row to claw their way into the championship. Otherworldly pitching performances from Logan Shore and A.J. Puk got them through the first two games before the bullpen and late-inning heroics from Mike Rivera helped vault Florida into Sunday’s championship.

The Gators wouldn’t leave anything to doubt on Sunday, pouncing on Vanderbilt starter Ryan Johnson in the first inning. Freshman Dalton Guthrie sat out after injuring his wrist in the ninth inning on Saturday. It was the first time this season Guthrie hasn’t led off and played second base. In his place was junior Harrison Bader, who had broken out of a 0-8 slump on Saturday and stayed hot on Championship Sunday. Bader worked a seven-pitch at-bat, sending the seventh offering from Johnson over the wall in left-center to give Florida a 1-0 lead. Pete Alonso singled home Buddy Reed later in the inning to stretch the lead to two.

Vanderbilt scored one in the bottom of the frame before Christin Hicks singled with one out in the top of the second. Bader reached on a fielder’s choice before the sky opened up for the first time, chasing both teams into their respective dugouts.

When play resumed Buddy Reed doubled to left center to bring Bader home and later scored on a Josh Tobias single. Florida’s 4-1 advantage would be more than they needed but they weren’t done yet.

The Gators and Commodores traded runs in the third and Vanderbilt pulled the score to 5-3 with another run in the fourth. Florida added two more runs in the fifth inning as both teams had to be warned by the home plate umpire about the chatter and chippiness that was starting to develop.

Kevin O’Sullivan turned to Danny Young in the fourth inning and the lefty was lights out. Young retired the first nine batters he face before surrendering a double. He responded by getting a flyout to send the game to the eighth inning. Young gave up his second hit to Dansby Swanson in the eighth before Shaun Anderson replaced him, earning a strikeout and then handed the ball to Kirby Snead. Snead worked 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball, earning the last five outs of the game.

“Unfortunately, this doesn’t help us for next weekend. It’s a new tournament and a new season,” O’Sullivan said. “I am pleased with how we played this week. We had a very difficult loss on Wednesday. Arkansas played great. We battled back and played some really good teams.”

2015 SEC Baseball Tournament All-Tournament Team

Starting Pitcher: A.J. Puk, FLORIDA
Starting Pitcher: Matt Kent, Texas A&M
Relief Pitcher: Taylor Lewis, FLORIDA
Catcher/Designated Hitter: JJ Schwarz, FLORIDA
First Base: Peter Alonso, FLORIDA & Zander Wiel, Vanderbilt
Second Base: Jared Foster, LSU
Third Base: Will Toffey, Vanderbilt
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Trey Harris, Missouri
Outfield: Buddy Reed, FLORIDA
Most Valuable Player: JJ Schwarz, FLORIDA

The Gators will find out on Monday at 12 p.m. who they will open the NCAA Tournament against when the 64-team field is revealed on ESPNU.

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