Gators drop weekend series to Aggies

The Florida Gators (15-9, 3-3 SEC) and the Texas A&M Aggies (17-8, 3-3 SEC) entered the Sunday series finale the same way they ended the ninth inning Sunday afternoon, tied.

The Gators and Aggies found themselves tied at three after nine innings of baseball and for the second time this weekend went into extra innings. Florida was 4-0 in extra inning games this season (including a 5-3 11-inning win on Friday night) but wouldn’t find the same luck on Sunday.

Aaron Rhodes worked six scoreless innings before allowing two base runners in the bottom of the 11th. Despite having two outs, Kevin O’Sullivan elected to play to the matchup, taking out Rhodes and replacing him with lefty Danny Young to face the left-handed hitting Lankford.

Lankford worked a full count and with two outs and the runner moving, laced a ball down the right field line that scored Nick Banks from second and walked the Aggies off with the game and series victory.

The loss drops the Gators to 3-3 in the SEC with a game against No. 1 FSU this Tuesday in Jacksonville and a three game set against No. 6 LSU this weekend at McKethan Stadium.

Best Hitter of the weekend

Taylor Gushue: 7-11, 2 RBI, 0 K, 1BB

Gushue is absolutely stinging the baseball right now. The junior catcher is leading the team in batting average (.349), doubles (10), home runs (2) and RBI (18).

Florida needs Gushue to stay hot in the middle of the lineup with a tough opponent in FSU this Tuesday and LSU coming in for a weekend series starting Friday.

Best Pitchers of the weekend

Logan Shore: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 102 pitches (career high)

Shore got a no decision and gave up a few runs but this was a great outing for a freshman on the road in conference play. Shore continues to cement his place as the Friday night starter.

Brett Morales: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Morales came into the game on Saturday after a disappointing outing from Eric Hanhold where the sophomore gave up five runs (4 earned) through four innings of work.

Morales stopped the bleeding and pitched four perfect innings.

Aaron Rhodes: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 SV

Rhodes took the loss on Saturday after Young gave up a double with inherited runners on base but Rhodes was dominant in two outings.

He threw one inning to earn the save on Friday night, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

He entered the game in the fifth inning on Sunday and blanked the Aggies for six-straight innings, throwing a career-high 83 pitches and striking out a career-high six batters before getting yanked.

Rhodes is starting to stand out for the Gators as one of, –if not the best– pitcher on the staff and should be in consideration as a weekend starter after his performance this weekend.

Trending up: Josh Tobias

Tobias was 5-11 (.454) against Texas A&M and is currently on a four-game hitting streak. Tobias started the season off with a miserable 0-14 clip but has bounced back to hit 16-49 (.326) over the next 14 games.

Trending Down: Pete Alonso

Alonso went just 2-10 (.200) against Texas A&M and has watched his batting average dip over the last two weeks down to .256.

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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