Florida Gators Baseball Win First Road SEC Series In Weekend Match With Auburn Tigers
No. 15 Florida baseball (28-12, 11-7 SEC) battled to get a series win over the Auburn Tigers (17-20, 3-15 SEC). This was Florida’s second consecutive weekend series win. After taking game one against the Tigers, they split a pair of seven-inning games on Sunday, with the rubber match giving the Gators their first road-SEC series win.
*You can watch a full video recap and preview of next weekend's series at the bottom of the story.
Prior to this past Friday, the two teams had not met since the 2018 Super Regional Series in Gainesville.
The Gators arrived in Auburn to take on a team with just two conference wins. One would think this would be an “easy” series to snag. However, that was not the case.
The Gators grinded and were able to get the series win thanks to some timely hitting.
It should be noted that although the Tigers had only two SEC wins prior to this past weekend, they lost eight one-run games.
The Gators did not expect the series to be a walk in the ballpark - no pun intended. And it was not.
Game One: 4-2 Gators
Game Two: 10-8 Tigers
Game Three: 6-4 Gators
Gators On the Mound
Franco Aleman started Friday night’s series opener recording five strikeouts in five shutout innings, his longest career outing.
Christian Scott came in in the sixth after a leadoff walk. He struck out four in three innings with two runs allowed.
Jack Leftwich pitched a clean ninth inning recording his first save of the season.
Veteran pitchers Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich both saw action in game two, and it was not particularly pretty for Gator fans. Both gave up five runs before rarely used reliever Hunter Mink took over.
Left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco struck out three and allowed three runs in just over five innings.
Scott replaced Barco, followed by Jordan Carrion. Trey Van Der Weide then entered and picked up the save, retiring all three batters he faced after taking the mound with two men aboard and none out in the bottom of the seventh.
Florida recorded double digit hits in the last seven of eight games.
Jud Fabian leads the team in homeruns - 14. He recorded a multi-homer series with one Friday and one Sunday.
Prior to Sunday, Leftwich had thrown nine consecutive no-hit innings over his previous three appearances.
Nathan Hickey leads the team in hitting with a .356 batting average.
What The Series Win Means
Walking into the series, Florida had an opportunity to sweep the Tigers and move within one game of first place in the SEC East. Instead, the Gators now find themselves in the exact same position that they began the weekend in - one game behind Tennessee and two behind Vanderbilt for the East lead.
What’s next for the Gators
The Gators will host No. 2 Vanderbilt (31-7, 13-5 SEC) next weekend.
The Commodores are coming off a series win against No. 4 Mississippi State, their second consecutive weekend series win against top-5 opponents. Last weekend, they won two of three games to get a road series win over Tennessee.
Who to Watch For
Right-handed pitcher, and Friday night guy for the Commodores, Kumar Rocker picked up his nation-leading ninth win of the season this past Friday against the Bulldogs. Rocker has allowed just one earned run across his last two starts and 16.0 innings of work, both coming against top-five ranked opponents. He’s now 9-1 on the season.
Junior utility player Dominic Keegan - leads team in hitting with a .373 batting average.
Friday’s series opener is set for 7 p.m. (ESPNU), game two Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network+) and Sunday at 3 p.m. (ESPN2).