Sunday Loss Doesn't Ruin Weekend

The Gator baseball team spotted the Kentucky Wildcats a 6-0 lead in the first three innings and wasn't able to come all the way back in losing a 6-5 decision to the Wildcats in their series finale in Lexington. The Gators weren't able to finish off the three game sweep but any road series win in the SEC is definitely a positive.

Florida leaves the Bluegrass State with a 25-10 record and is a solid 10-5 in the SEC. Florida is halfway through the SEC race and will have nine of its remaining 15 conference games in Gainesville.

The Gators knew they had an iffy situation with their third starter heading into the weekend and that was an understatement. Sophomore Anthony DeSclafani's struggles continued as he surrendered six runs and eight hits in just 2.2 innings. DeSclafani is now 2-2 on the year but his ERA has soared to 8.07. He was 6-3, 4.98 as a freshman.

Florida still had a lot of positives on the day. Freshman Steven Rodriguez returned from injuries to pitch five excellent innings out of the bullpen without giving up a run. "Paco" has given up just one run in 15-plus innings and his five inning stint could earn him consideration for a starting role.

Florida scored a run in the fourth and got within three on solo homers by Preston Tucker in the sixth and Austin Maddox in the eighth. Josh Adams added a two run shot in the ninth to get the Gators within a run, but Tucker grounded out with Nolan Fontana on base for the final out.

The game was Florida's seventh straight on the road and there's still one more to go. The Gators play USF in Tampa Wednesday night before hosting Arkansas in a key SEC series. The Razorbacks are in a battle with LSU at the top of the SEC West standings while the Gators trail South Carolina in the SEC East.

Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan talked about the game and the weekend on his post-game show on Rock-104 and the IMG Gator Radio Network.


On not surrendering after falling behind:

"We put ourselves in position and we battled all day so I can't fault our team for battling on the road. Falling behind six nothing it would have been an easy day to kind of folds the tents so to speak, but they battled. We got a chance to have Tucker at the plate at the end of the game but we couldn't quite get that one extra hit at the end."

On the pitching for the game:

"We obviously didn't get a good start from Anthony, but the bright side is we got Paco back and he threw outstanding for five innings."

On nine homers on the weekend being a good sign:

"Yeah I was pleased with the way we swung the bats. I wish we had swung ‘em better the first three innings, but overall I thought we had good at bats all game and really all weekend. I'm of the belief that we're getting the offense going again and we're swinging the bats aggressively. We had a good weekend at the plate."

Does he think the road stretch might have brought the team closer?

"Yeah I do and I think the way they battled back today proves that. Most teams would have been satisfied with two wins (on the weekend). They battled a lot of adversity falling behind six runs but we battled right down to the end.

On accomplishing the prime goals during this stretch:

"We did what we wanted to do. We won two road series at Tennessee and Kentucky. We can't be disappointed with that. Obviously we wish would have won today, but overall it's been a really good road experience for us. Hopefully we'll take this into the second half of the SEC."

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