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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators' Preston Tucker among three who will return to baseball team next season



Preston Tucker, a Tampa Plant alum and the Gators' OF and 1B, has decided to return to the Gators for his senior season.

He joins pitcher Greg Larson and OF Tyler Thompson in the decision to put MLB opportunities on hold this year.

Tucker, an All-SEC first-team selection, was drafted in the 16th round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 NCAA Gainesville Regional and batted .308 with a team-best 74 RBI, 55 runs, 28 walks and matched the school’s single-season record with 23 doubles.

He also established UF’s single-season marks for games played (tied with Mike Zunino) and started by being in the lineup all 72 games, with 63 starts in right field and nine at first base. During the Gators’ 11 NCAA Tournament outings, he had 20 RBI and had 11 extra-base hits (six doubles and five home runs). He is the school’s all-time leader in NCAA Tourney at bats (97), hits (35), RBI (35), homers (9) and doubles (8).

Larson was selected in the 29th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Thompson was chosen in the 46th round by the Washington Nationals.

In addition to the three returning Gators,four Florida signees who were drafted have decided to enroll this fall:  infielder Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.; 22nd round, New York Mets), infielder Joshua Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.; 31st round, Washington Nationals), right-hander John Magliozzi (Milton, Mass.; 35th round, Tampa Bay Rays) and right-hander/outfielder Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.; 37th round, New York Yankees).

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:57am]


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