Gators handle Auburn in SEC Tournament

Fourth-seeded Florida (41-16) used an eight-run third inning to oust ninth-seeded Auburn (35-24) from the 2015 SEC Tournament, 11-2, on Thursday afternoon at the Hoover Met. With the victory, the Gators stay alive to face the loser of tonight’s game between top-seeded LSU (47-9) and fifth-seeded Arkansas (35-20) tomorrow night at approximately 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Senior Josh Tobias was 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs and sophomore Peter Alonso was a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI to lead Florida’s 15-hit offensive outburst. Sophomore right-hander Logan Shore (7-6) struck out seven batters, scattered six hits and permitted two runs over 7.2 innings to earn the triumph and sophomore Frank Rubio finished the game for the Orange and Blue.

Freshman J.J. Schwarz helped the Gators draw first blood in the second inning with a sacrifice fly into right field that brought home Tobias. Tobias had led off with an infield single and stole second before a base-hit into right field by Alonso resulted in runners on the corners. A wild pitch by righty Dalton Rentz (3-4) gave UF a pair of runners in scoring position and Schwarz collected his team-leading 58th RBI with his team-best sixth sac fly of the campaign. It was the fourth RBI of the SEC Tournament for the second-team All-SEC pick.

Florida sent a dozen batters to the plate and erupted for eight runs with two down in the third to break the game wide open. Freshman Dalton Guthrie was hit by a pitch with one down and junior Richie Martin (2-for-5, two runs) had a two-out infield hit before Tobias came through with an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Alonso followed with a two-run single up the middle and Schwarz singled for runners on the corners. Junior Harrison Bader’s grounder was misplayed for an error, allowing Alonso to score, and freshman Mike Rivera (1-for-3) launched a two-run double into left center to increase the margin to 7-0 and end the day for Rentz (2.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 ER). Freshman Jeremy Vasquez and Guthrie rounded out the frame with back-to-back RBI single for a nine-run cushion.

Austin Murphy put the Tigers on the board in the fourth with a two-out RBI single that scored Melvin Gray, who had opened the stanza with a double into left field.

The Gators tacked on two more runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Tobias and Alonso to build a 10-run advantage at 11-1 and the Tigers responded with a run-scoring grounder by Gray to bring across Anfernee Grier (leadoff triple) to finalize the scoring.

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