Two-seeded Tennessee eliminates six-seeded Florida Gators from SEC Tournament
HOOVER, Ala. — Maybe Friday's day off cooled Florida's bats.
Two-seed Tennessee eliminated Florida from the SEC Baseball Tournament with a 4-0 win in Saturday's semifinal at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Tennessee (45-15) will face top seed Arkansas (45-10) in Sunday's championship game at 3 p.m. (ESPN2). The Volunteers advanced to the championship game for the first time since 1995. Arkansas defeated Ole Miss 3-2 in the other semifinal Saturday night.
Six-seeded Florida (38-20) earned a day off after going 3-0 in the tournament on the strength of 32 hits in wins over Mississippi State and Alabama and outscoring foes 24-4.
In the single-elimination semifinal, however, Florida managed only four hits off three Tennessee pitchers, as it was blanked for the first time this season.
Camden Sewell (4-1) shut down the Florida bats in six-shutout innings. He struck out six and allowed only two hits. Relievers Redmond Walsh and Sean Hunley allowed only two hits in the next three innings.
"Sewell did a nice job, a little bit of a different look, some sink, mid-80s fastball, breaking ball, I think our timing was a little bit off," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We felt like we hit with two strikes a ton today, and it was just one of those days.
"But we’ll go back home tonight — we’ve been on the road for I think ten days now — get ready for the selection show on Monday and have a really good week of practice.”
Tennessee took a 1-0 lead in the third inning following a RBI single by Evan Russell off Florida starter Brandon Sproat. UF left fielder Jacob Young prevented another run from scoring by throwing out a base runner at home.
The Volunteers made it 3-0 in the fourth on a RBI double from Jordan Beck, who later scored on a wild pitch. Sproat (2-1) gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Tennessee extend its lead to 4-0 in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Drew Gilbert off Trey Van Der Weide, who came in for reliever Christian Scott. Jack Leftwich then pitched 1.1 scoreless innings for UF.
The Gators are expected to receive a regional bid. The 16 NCAA regional hosts will be announced Sunday night and the rest of the 64-team field will be announced at noon Monday on ESPN2. Regionals will go Friday through Monday, June 7.
•NCAA tournament selection show at noon Monday on ESPN2. The 64-team field will be announced.