Roundup: Gators play Bears for final four berth

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Florida coach Bryan Shelton talks to his team during the match against the Florida State Seminoles earlier this month. The Gators face Baylor today in the Orlando area. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]


Three seed Florida (24-3) will meet six seed and Big 12 champion Baylor (25-5) at 7 p.m. today in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championships at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla. The match will be televised on the Tennis Channel.

A win would put Florida in the national semifinals for only the second time in program history and play at 2 p.m. Saturday against the winner of today’s two-seeded Texas-10 seed TCU match. The other matches today are top-seeded Ohio State vs. 9 seed North Carolina and 5 seed Virginia vs. 4 seed Wake Forest. Saturday’s semifinal winners play for the title at 3 p.m. Sunday.

BASEBALL

Gators finish regular season on road

Florida’s streak of reaching every NCAA Tournament since coach Kevin O’Sullivan took over in 2008 is in jeopardy after the home series loss to Tennessee last weekend.

The Gators (30-23, 10-17 SEC), who finish the regular season at Missouri (34-18-1, 13-13-1), figure to be a double-digit seed in the conference tournament. Florida has reached the College World Series seven times since 2010, winning the 2017 title. The big issue? The team ERA of 5.40 is the highest since 2001.

Today’s and Friday’s games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network+) and Saturday is at 3 p.m. (SEC Network+). UF will toss righty Tommy Mace (7-4, 5.40 ERA) vs. Missouri’s lefty Jacob Cantleberry (4-4, 4.88).

MEN’S GOLF

Florida’s season comes to close

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Florida men’s golf season came to an end in Pullman by finishing regional play tied for ninth, as only the top five teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“Today ends a very frustrating season,” UF coach JC Deacon said. “Every year our expectations are to win championships, and we did not meet those expectations this year. I think this will add fuel to the fire for the 2019-20 season.”

Sophomores Chris Nido and John Axelsen led the way all week for the Gators. Nido finished inside the top 10 at tied for seventh with a final tournament score of nine-under 201, and a season-best 65 in the final round. Axelsen finished tied for 27 at four under and a final score of 206.

“I am excited about our two sophomores, John Axelsen and Chris Nido, as they will be a very strong 1-2 punch at the top of our lineup,” Deacon said. “We have four freshman starting in August who bring a ton of skill, energy, and competitiveness to our program. We need to get our edge back and they will help. I am also looking forward to a clean slate and getting the University of Florida back to where we belong, at the top of college golf.”

Texas A&M won the regional with an 807 (-33), while UF shot 832 (-8). Joining the Aggies at the NCAA finals from the regional Brigham Young, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Colorado State and South Carolina.