Johnson Leads No. 3 Gators to Series Win

It took 16 innings in the Auburn series before the Gators had to use a relief pitcher. One day after Hudson Randall tossed a complete game, Brian Johnson followed by allowing one run in seven innings on Friday. The offense for No. 3 Florida continued its recent hot streak while banging out 12 hits from eight different players. The Gators secured a series win by pulling out a 10-1 defeat of Auburn.

Brian Johnson put together an outing that Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said after the game was his best of the season. The junior left-hander allowed two hits, two walks and one run in seven innings while striking out seven hitters on 99 pitches, while 72 of them went for strikes.

Daniel Gibson and Ryan Harris combined for two perfect innings to close out the game and ensure that the veterans in the Florida bullpen would remain rested for the series finale on Saturday.

The Gators also got good news after their game. LSU and South Carolina split a doubleheader while Mississippi State clinched a series win over Kentucky. Florida can earn a share of the SEC regular season title with a win over Auburn on Saturday and a South Carolina loss.

The Florida offense continued to stay hot after scoring seven and six runs in the last two games, respectively. This was a bigger outburst.

The Gators loaded the bases in the first inning with one out before Johnson got the Gators on the board with a sacrifice fly. Vickash Ramjit then deposited an opposite field home run over the right field fence to give Florida a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

Mike Zunino hit a solo home run in the third inning to give the Gators a 5-0 lead. Josh Tobias followed with an RBI single, and Ramjit scored when Justin Shafer grounded into a double play. Florida held a 7-0 lead in the third inning.

After Shafer scored on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, Preston Tucker hammered a pitch for a two-run home run in the sixth inning to push the lead to 10-0.

Florida will send sophomore right-hander Karsten Whitson (3-0, 3.33) to the mound for the series finale to face an Auburn pitcher to be announced.

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