Gators Shutout Auburn in Game 1 as Tucker Sets UF Hits Record, SEC Title Chase Heats Up
After Tuesday night’s debacle at Samford, the only way for the Gators to save face was to bounce back and put together a complete game. That is exactly what they did Thursday night.
In the opening game of the last regular season series for 2012, No. 5 Florida (39-15/17-11 SEC) topped Auburn (29-25/12-16 SEC), 6-0.
The Tigers haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire this season with a sub .500 SEC record, however they are a solid squad that until last night, had yet to be shutout.
The SEC’s top offense managed just three hits against junior ace Hudson Randall, as he threw a complete game and pushed his record to 7-1 on the season.
Randall has been heating up for the Gators, a good sign heading into the postseason. He is a perfect 4-0 over hist last four starts with a 1.88 ERA. The most impressive part about the 4-0 record, these wins came against No. 3 Kentucky, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 25 Mississippi State, and the SEC’s top offense Auburn Tigers.
Senior big-man Preston Tucker, the Florida Gator hitting machine, led the team at the plate going 3-for-4, and claimed the school’s all-time hits record in the process.
While the Gators were taking care of business on the plains, and further securing themselves as a national seed come tournament time, Mississippi State continued their hot streak. The Bulldogs knocked off first place No. 3 Kentucky (41-13/18-10 SEC), bringing the Gators within one game of overall first place in the SEC.
The other series of interest to Gator Nation this weekend is No. 9 LSU (40-13/17-10 SEC) at No. 2 South Carolina (38-13/17-9 SEC). The Tigers and Gamecocks were rained out Thursday night, and will play a double-header Friday afternoon.
Florida and Auburn take the diamond Friday night for Game 2 at 7:00 PM ET. Florida’s Brian Johnson (5-4, 4.29 ERA) gets the nod. Johnson will face off against Auburn’s Danile Koger (3-4, 2.76 ERA).
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