Special to Gatorsports.com
HOOVER, Ala. — A SEC baseball tournament plagued by rain since the first day Tuesday had a unique twist late Friday. It was delayed then suspended by fog.
The Florida-LSU elimination game was suspended in the sixth inning with the Tigers up 10-0. It will resume at 11 a.m. ET today (SEC Network). A tourney game has to complete seven innings to become official per NCAA rules.
It was a day the top-seeded Gators would rather forget, return to Gainesville after a long road trip that began May 16 at Mississippi State and prepare for a NCAA tournament regional next weekend. Florida lost 8-2 to Arkansas in a game that started at 11 a.m. Friday because weather delays and extra-inning games messed with Thursday night’s schedule.
After the Arkansas loss, Florida returned to the field about 10 hours later for a 10 p.m. ET start against the Tigers.
LSU took a 3-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Jonathan India. Jake Slaughter doubled and Beau Jordan was later hit by pitch. Antoine Duplantis then hit a RBI double and later scored behind Jordan on India’s throw that bounced past first baseman Brady Smith.
Florida had a chance to score runs and even take a lead, but squandered opportunities with five runners in scoring position through the first four innings.
Freshman pitcher Jack Leftwich is in line for the loss despite allowing only two hits and one earned run through five innings.
Things got crazy in the sixth for the Gators, who had appeared to lose focus. LSU scored seven runs on four hits, two UF errors, two wild pitches and a balk by Florida reliever Hunter McMullen and a passed ball by catcher Cal Greenfield.
After Florida fielders couldn’t spot Daniel Cabrera’s bloop hit to left field that scored two runs, umpires stopped the game to discuss the situation with SEC officials, including commissioner Greg Sankey. It was suspended at 12:55 a.m.
UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan had a long talk with his team after the decision was made to suspended Friday’s contest. The Gators have lost five of their last six games before facing LSU.
Ole Miss plays Texas A&M in one semifinal today at 1 p.m. ET. Arkansas will play the winner of the LSU-UF game at 4:30 p.m.