Tampa's Alex Panteliodis leads Florida baseball team to SEC Tournament Title
Tampa Alonso alum Alex Panteliodis (5-2) scattered five hits and registered five strikeouts in 5.1 scoreless innings to help No. 3 seed Florida to a 5-0 victory over fourth-seeded Vanderbilt today - earning the Gators their first SEC Tournament Championship since 1991.
Florida (45-16) established a single-season school record with its 11th shutout. UF’s four victories at the SEC Tournament were its most since going 4-0 to win the 1991 SEC Tournament. It was the sixth SEC tourney crown for the Gators, who previously won in 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988 and 1991.
“Alex (Panteliodis) gave us a great start,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We knew going into this one that we’d have to pitch well. If we had to go to the bullpen early in this game, we were probably going to find ourselves in some trouble. AP just did an outstanding job.”
Junior outfielder Daniel Pigott, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the SEC Tourney after batting .583 (7-for-12) over the four games, with six runs and six stolen bases. He joined Gator winners Rich Bombard (Pitcher, 1982), Brian Reimsnyder (Outfielder, 1988), Herbert Perry (Designated Hitter, 1991) and Brian Purvis (Outfielder, 1991).
Other members of the All-Tourney Team for the Gators included sophomore shortstop Nolan Fontana, sophomore right-hander Hudson Randall and senior outfielder Bryson Smith.
Florida will now host one of the 16 NCAA Baseball Regionals. Four teams will compete at McKethan Stadium in a double-elimination tournament starting on Friday, June 3. The winner will advance to the best-of-three Super Regional to be held the following weekend at eight different sites.
The 64-team field for the NCAA Tournament will be announced live on ESPN on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
“We’re extremely happy about hosting games in Gainesville,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It is great news for the program, our players, the University and the fans and we appreciate the support.”