Make us your home page

Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Grand slam helps Gators earn first round win in SEC Baseball Tournament

Florida sophomore Brian Johnson hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to turn a 5-2 deficit into an eventual 7-5 victory for No. 3 seed Florida over sixth-seeded Mississippi State on the opening day of the 2011 SEC Tournament Wednesday.

With their first win since 2005 in the initial round of the event,  the Gators (42-15) will now play No. 7 seed Alabama (33-24) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a winner’s bracket game. The game will be televised on Sun Sports. Mississippi State (34-22) will meet second-seeded Arkansas (36-19) at 10:30 a.m. in the first elimination game of the five-day tournament.

With the Gators trailing by a 5-2 score entering the bottom of the seventh, senior Bryson Smith was hit by a pitch and junior Preston Tucker of Tampa, drew a walk from freshman Taylor Stark to cause a pitching change.

Sophomore Luis Pollorena (6-5) came in for Stark (1.0 IP, 2 BB) and surrendered a single into center field to sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (2-for-5) that loaded the bases with none out. Johnson sent a fly ball into right field that appeared to be headed foul but instead cleared the right-field wall in fair territory to empty the bases and give Florida 6-5 lead.

Florida added an insurance run in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Tucker.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:57pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours