Gators Back in the Postseason

With a win over Vanderbilt on Friday night, the Gator baseball team advances to the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2005. It was in '05 that Florida went all the way to the College World Series Championship before eventually losing to Texas.

It's been a long road back to rebuilding a program that experienced so much success in that 2005 season, including the firing of former Gator coach Pat McMahon. But new skipper Kevin O'Sullivan has the Gators pitching well and beginning to play better defense. And finally in the last series of the season, Florida has learned how to win the close game after holding tight leads in the late innings in both games so far against Vanderbilt.

After Friday night's results, the Gators are holding onto the No. 4 seed in the SEC tied for the league's third best mark (16-13). Kentucky is holding onto the No. 3 seed as a result of their series victory against the Gators in mid-April. Georgia and LSU have secured the top two spots.

If Florida should lose their last regular season game to Vandy, the worst they could do is a No. 5 seed. They would still be behind Georgia, LSU and Kentucky, but Alabama could jump ahead of Florida with a win against Georgia. Alabama took 2-of-3 from the Gators last weekend, so if the two teams finished at 16-14, Alabama who currently sits as the No. 5 seed would jump ahead of Florida. Vandy would also finish at 16-14, but Florida would stay ahead of the Dores in the seedings since they have already clinched this weekend's series.

The Wildcats host Ole Miss on Saturday, and should the Rebels win and Florida complete a series sweep over Vandy, Florida would jump ahead of UK and grab the No. 3 seed.

With three teams (Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina) still fighting for two playoff spots and Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and Vanderbilt all within a game of each other in the standings, there are too many possibilities to begin to predict who Florida may face when the SEC Tournament kicks off in Birmingham on Wednesday. The likeliest of scenarios, however, would see the Gators facing Vanderbilt again in the first round.

Questions or comments? Contact's Chris Chmielenski

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