Jacksonville Sports Day

SEC: Gators Beat Mississippi State; Advance to Tournament Semifinal

HOOVER, Ala.—The Gators scored 12 runs over the final two innings on Friday to beat Mississippi State 12-3 at the SEC Tournament in Hoover.

With the win, Florida (42-15) advances in the winner’s bracket, reaching the SEC Tournament semifinals for the fourth year in a row.

The Gators will start at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET against the winner of Friday night’s game between Arkansas and Mississippi State (36-24).

The Gators were held scoreless through the first seven innings before sending 15 batters to the plate in the eighth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit with 11 runs on six hits.

Florida’s 11 runs tied for the most in a single inning in SEC Tournament history. The last time UF scored 11 runs in an inning came against Miami in the 2015 College World Series in Omaha.

Jackson Kowar had another quality start on the mound, going seven innings with two earned runs allowed to improve to 11-0 on the year.

Christian Hicks sparked the Gators’ offense with a three-hit day and Deacon Liput had a pair of hits, both in the eighth inning, and four RBI on the afternoon.

The Bulldogs got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cody Brown reached via an error and scored on Hunter Vansau’s triple to make it 1-0.

Vansau tried to add another run by tagging up on a foul pop to the right side, but Liput’s throw home beat him and JJ Schwarz applied the tag to end the inning.

Mississippi State added a run in the fifth after a wild pitch allowed Josh Lovelady to score from third and Vansau hit a RBI double to right center in the sixth for a 3-0 lead.

After Bulldogs’ starter Cole Gordon limited the Gators to three hits through seven innings, the Florida offense exploded in the eighth.

Hicks led off with a single to right and Mississippi State went to the bullpen. Mike Rivera followed with a walk and Blake Reese singled to right to load the bases for Deacon Liput.

Liput got the Gators on the board with a RBI single and the floodgates opened. Rivera scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run game.

Jonathan India drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the tying run and Austin Langworthy gave the Gators a lead with a two-run single.

Another walk to Rivera brought home another run and Garrett Milchin, who pinch-hit earlier in the inning, singled to right for two more runs to give UF an 8-3 lead.

Liput cleared the bases with his second hit of the inning, a double off the wall in left center to cap the huge rally.

Florida added a run in the ninth inning and Frank Rubio got the final two outs to finish the game.

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