Florida shuts out Arkansas to advance to SEC semis

Hoover, AL – In a game that would determine who advances to the 2015 SEC Tournament semifinals, Florida was able to shut out Arkansas, 10-0, on Friday night. The game was finalized after 7 innings due to the runs rule.

The No. 4 seed Gators (42-16) faced the No. 5 seed Razorbacks (35-22) during their Tournament opener Wednesday night, but lost late in the game after a pair of home runs in the ninth pushed the Razorbacks ahead 7-6.

It was all but a different game during Friday’s rematch in Hoover Met. Florida’s ace pitcher A.J. Puk (8-3) struck out 11 batters and allowed only 3 hits in 7 innings to help ensure the Gators win. The elimination game was Puk’s first shutout win and was complimented with a strong UF offense that had 11 hits.

Gators were able to get on the board early after an RBI grounder by Josh Tobias (1-for-3, 2 runs) would bring Dalton Guthrie home to make it 1-0.

Florida was able to push ahead Arkansas after a 5 run inning in the 3rd. Gators started the bottom 3rd strong with a leadoff double by Guthrie.  After Buddy Reed (3-for-3) was able to race to first base, Richie Martin singled out to center field scoring in Guthrie on the RBI to put Florida over Arkansas 2-0. A Peter Alonso sac fly into centerfield to score in Reed would give the Gators a 3-0 lead. Florida was able to create more damage after an E3 put Harrison Bader at first and allowed both Tobias and Martin to score, boosting UF’s lead to 5-0. The last run of the inning came with an RBI grounder by Jeremy Vasquez to give Florida a 6-0 lead.

A two-out RBI by Mike Rivera in the seventh would finalize the Gators win, 10-0, due to the mercy rule.

Florida will face the top-seeded and defending SEC Tournament champions LSU (48-9) Saturday after the conclusion of Game 15, which begins at 12pm CT.

Game Notes:

  • This was the 3rd shutout win for the Gators during the 2015 season
  • Prior to Friday night’s game, Florida’s last shutout in the SEC Tournament came against Vanderbilt on May 29, 2011
  • A.J. Puk was a strikeout away from hitting career best dozen strikeouts (set on May 8, 2015 vs. Vanderbilt)

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to GatorCountry.com