GAINESVILLE — After jumping to an early seven-run lead, Florida produced a seven-run fifth inning, during which 12 batters came to the plate, on its way to beating Georgia Tech 15-3 and winning its region tournament at McKethan Stadium on Sunday.
Florida's 10th region title put it in the Super Region for the fourth consecutive season. The Gators, who outscored opponents 25-5 in going 3-0, play N.C. State or Vanderbilt. Those two meet in the deciding game of their region tournament today in Raleigh, N.C.
"I think this team is probably tired of hearing about how people have not thought they have played up to their potential," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We're the No. 1 national seed, and we're using that as motivation moving forward."
The Gators (45-18) have been nearly unstoppable in region play on Sundays. Over their past four, they have outscored opponents 57-11.
Sunday, Brian Johnson (8-4) went five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four.
Up 4-0, the Gators added three in the second on a home run by catcher Mike Zunino, who is projected to be among the top five picks of today's draft.
"It was one of the better balls I've hit this year," said Zunino, who has 18 homers this year.
Georgia Tech struggled after beating College of Charleston 3-0 in an elimination game that started at noon Sunday. (Alex Cruz allowed two hits over six innings for the Yellow Jackets.)
"It has to take a toll," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said.
Florida's Casey Turgeon went 2-for-3 and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The Dunedin High graduate was joined on the all-tournament team by Gators Nolan Fontana, Preston Tucker (of Tampa's Plant High), Zunino and Jonathon Crawford, who threw a no-hitter in Friday's opener.
"I didn't really know that I was going to get MVP because I know Crawford threw a no-hitter," said Turgeon, who added he would have voted for Crawford. "But when my name was called, it was awesome."
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]