Adams Hoping to Go Out on Top

Josh Adams wouldn't script his Senior Day any different. It comes during one of the biggest weekends of his career, as the Gators control their own destiny for a second consecutive SEC Championship. The recognition of his four-year career will happen Friday night, but the opportunity to clinch a second championship ring on Saturday sets up the perfect weekend.

Adams will also make his 234th career start on Thursday, which will tie him for the school record set by Brian Duva in 1994.

"I work hard and the coaches have given me opportunities to play," Adams said. "I've just rolled with it ever since I got here. It's an honor to be a part of that group, so we'll enjoy that when the time comes."

Setting the school record for career starts calls for three things to go perfectly. The player has to see immediate playing time, stay healthy and play four years. Adams has hit all three with ease.

He started the first game of his freshman year in center field, but when Matt den Dekker returned to the team, Adams proved his bat needed to be in the lineup somewhere. He went 4-for-12 the opening weekend of his freshman year, including a grand slam that would turn the Sunday game into a laugher.

The coaches got creative to get his bat in the lineup. Adams went to left field when den Dekker returned, and he moved to second base when SEC play started. Adams finished the season as the team's normal third baseman. His ability to play all over the field kept him in the lineup, but there's no doubt what got him in the lineup at the beginning of the year.

"He hit," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "He was versatile. His ability to play multiple positions defensively is what makes him unique as a player."

In his four-year career, Adams has played every position expect pitcher and catcher. Ironically, scouts believe his future at the professional level could be behind the plate, and Adams worked as a catcher during some fall workouts. To no one's surprise, he took to it with ease.

"He has been steady, calm, versatile… all those words come to mind," O'Sullivan said. "We're certainly not looking forward to seeing him go."

"He has been mainstay in our lineup for four years. We're going to miss him."

RACE FOR THE TITLE: The Gators are tied at the top of the SEC standings with South Carolina and Vanderbilt at 20-7. The Gamecocks will travel to Alabama while Vanderbilt heads to Georgia, but regardless of the outcome, the situation doesn't surprise O'Sullivan.

"I think everybody kind of predicted it," O'Sullivan said. "South Carolina is the defending national champion that had a lot of pieces coming back. Vanderbilt, after just playing them, they've got as good of personnel as anybody in the country."

That doesn't mean O'Sullivan is downplaying the outcome. Florida needed 22 conference wins to secure the title last year, but this year, it looks like they might need 23.

"It's one thing to go into the season with expectations," O'Sullivan said. "It's another to put yourself in position at the end of the year and meet those expectations. All three teams have done a really good job of handling expectations and pressure of having to do well."

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