Gators Complete Sweep of the Vols

The late-game offensive explosions this weekend continue to show signs of improvement. It was a five-run seventh inning that propelled the Gators (24-5/7-2 SEC) to a series sweep of Tennessee (19-9, 2-7) on Sunday. It added to the lead for No. 3 Florida, giving the Gators a 9-1 win in the series finale.

Kamm Washington singled to center field to start the seventh inning, and Mike Zunino worked a walk to move him to second. After Preston Tucker singled to left field, Austin Maddox drove in two runs with a single to left-center field. Brian Johnson then reloaded the bases with a single to right field.

Josh Adams singled to left field to score one run, and Cody Dent grounded into a double play in the next at-bat to score one run. Nolan Fontana capped the inning with a single to right field to give the Gators a 9-0 lead.

The seventh inning scoring added to the sixth inning that put the Gators in control. Tucker drove in Zunino to start the scoring in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Zack Powers tapped a ground ball back to pitcher Nick Williams, who went home to get the out, but his throw was low and got past Tennessee catcher Ethan Bennett to score one run. Fontana hit a sacrifice fly to right field to cap off the scoring.

Florida freshman Karsten Whitson (4-0) had lapses in his control, but the right-hander threw five scoreless innings on his way to picking up his first SEC win. He gave up five hits and allowed three walks while recording six strikeouts.

Whitson battled his control in the second inning, as he walked the bases loaded with two outs. Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan stuck with him, and Whitson got Tennessee center fielder Andrew Toles to fly out to center field. After walking the bases loaded, Whitson retired eight of the next nine batters he faced.

Whitson allowed an infield single and a double to give Tennessee second and third with no outs to start the sixth inning, and O'Sullivan went to the bullpen to get right-hander Tommy Toledo. After getting a weak ground out to third base, Toledo got a comebacker and threw the runner out at home. He got a line out to center field to end the inning.

Nick Maronde, Greg Larson and Daniel Gibson combined to throw the final three innings, and the Volunteers broke up the shutout with two outs in the ninth inning when Tyler Thorne lined a two-out single to right field off Gibson.

Adams walked with the bases loaded in the second inning to give Whitson a one-run lead to work with, but the Gators couldn't tack on any more runs after Powers struck out and Fontana flied out to end the inning.

On the weekend, Tennessee scored only three runs and recorded 15 hits. In 19.1 innings, the Florida starting pitchers allowed only two runs.

Florida stays at home to face UCF on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher. It will be Florida's last home game until an SEC series against Alabama on April 22.

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