A win would have nearly guaranteed the Gators a trip to the College World Series, but now that is in doubt.
HOOVER, Alabama – A walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning sealed the fate of the Florida Gators’ baseball team.
Jonathan Ducoff collected his fourth RBI of the game to end the Gators’ run in the SEC Tournament Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama.
“They were just a little bit better than us today, we made a couple mistakes,” said Gator head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, in his postgame comments.
Florida (33-24) will now have to wait to see if they carry a good enough resume to make the NCAA College World Series field.
The Aggies (37-19-1) got on the board first with a pair of singles in the third inning. A sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly allowed both runners to score. Infielder Brady Smith threw a bad ball after a wild pitch from Gator starter Tommy Mace to score a third run.
The Gators got back on track in the fifth after Brady McConnell drilled a shot to left, scoring a pair of runs.
Then, in the sixth inning, Florida was able to tie the game after Texas A&M starter Asa Lacy loaded the bases without the Gators collecting a hit. Jacob Young picked up an RBI walk to score Smith from third.
Florida earned its first lead of the game in the eighth after Wil Dalton smacked an RBI triple and Kendrick Calilao hit a sacrifice fly to put the Gators up, 5-3.
But, it all fell apart in the bottom of the inning after Texas A&M’s Mikey Hoehner started a two-out rally with a solo home run off Gator pitcher Christian Scott. The Aggies took the lead on a three-run homer from Ducoff off reliever Jordan Butler.
Jud Fabian led a Florida rally in the ninth with a double. Austin Langworthy drove him home with a triple to center field. Nelson Maldonado tied the game with an RBI single to center, scoring Langworthy.
But, it was in the bottom of the 10th where Ducoff helped the Aggies advance.
“We battled from behind twice, down 3-0 early and battled back into it. Tommy gave us a great start,” O’Sullivan said. “A play here, a play there, a pitch here or a pitch there, obviously it’s a different outcome. Credit Texas A&M, they played just a little bit better than us today.”
Now, the Gators will await the outcome of the NCAA selection show at 12 p.m. Monday.