Everything Kevin O’Sullivan said after Florida’s first round exit in the SEC Tournament

The Florida Gators failed to make a statement with the NCAA Tournament looming, losing in the first round of the SEC Tournament 6-3 to Vanderbilt, likely keeping Florida on ‘bubble watch’ for an at-large bid into the Regionals.

Gator Country provides you with everything head coach Kevin O’Sullivan had to say about the Gators’ first round exit in the SEC Tournament.


KEVIN O’SULLIVAN: “I mean, bottom line is we got beat. Cunningham threw the ball good, and obviously the closer — reliever came in and did a nice job. We just had a hard time manufacturing runs. I don’t know how many guys we left on base, but we had the opportunity there with two runners on with nobody out, and unfortunately we had two at-bats there where we struck out back to back.

But that was an opportunity for us to take an early lead. Then we turned back around and walked Espinal to start the second, and then we got two runs on the board.

But ultimately we just got beat, simple as that. The inability to make some two-strike, two-out pitches with runners in scoring position cost us a couple runs and gave up a third one with two outs. We had to pitch out on him, didn’t hit the catcher in the chest.

Little things like that add up in a game like this. Obviously Corbz’s team played better than we did today, and we’ll move forward.”

Q. You guys had to work so hard to put yourselves in this position. Obviously today didn’t go like you want. Where do you see your position as you try to get into regional play?

KEVIN O’SULLIVAN: “Quite honestly, I thought our biggest hurdle was to get above .500. That was the first obstacle we needed to get over. Then obviously there’s five of us that have 13 wins in the league.

Anybody can look at the metrics, strength of schedule, how many quad 1 wins. But at the end of the day, I look at things a little bit differently. There’s potentially six hosts in our league, which we’ve never had before. We’ve went 9-9 against them. Obviously went into Baton Rouge and won two out of three.

Our schedule was really difficult down the stretch the last five series. We did what we needed to do to win two out of three at Georgia, which obviously is not an easy thing to do. Our schedule is difficult.

But we do that for a reason: For us to be able to be battle tested when we get into postseason. We play three against Florida State, three against Miami every year. Yeah, so there’s been some inconsistencies, but at the same time, we’ve proven that we can play with anybody in the country. We’ve just had some inconsistencies along the way, like most of the teams that have 13 wins in our league. I think everybody would tell you the same thing.

But it’s up to the committee, and there’s nothing that I can say or do, and I’m not going to sit here and politic for our team. But at the same time, that one simple thing, going 9-9 in 18 league games against teams that are potentially going to host or be national seeds, I think that says something.”

Q. You saw Cunningham, whatever it was, six weeks ago now. Do you perceive he was better this time around, or was it just a matter of not cashing in this time?

KEVIN O’SULLIVAN: “I think he was a lot more efficient, to be honest with you. There wasn’t a whole lot of misses. In a game like this, we walk Espinal to start the second and it gets things going, he was able to navigate that, and he did a good job getting the lead-off hitter.

The frustrating part on my end is we — many of our hitters were attacked pretty much the same way from at-bat to at-bat and we didn’t make very many adjustments, simple as that. But Cunningham did execute, so he pitched really well today.”


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.