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    Florida Tops Auburn, 6-1

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    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Game 3- Florida 6, Auburn Arkansas 1

    Box Score

    Hoover, Ala. - Sophomore right-hander Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) established a career high with nine strikeouts and freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) drove in three runs to lead second-ranked Florida (41-16) to a 6-1 victory over Auburn (30-27) in the opening round of the 2012 SEC Tournament on Tuesday at Regions Park. UF broke open a 2-1 game with a three-run sixth that was highlighted by a two-run double by freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and its pitching staff limited the SEC’s top hitting team to three hits.
    The third-seeded Gators will enjoy an off-day before returning to action on Thursday night in the fourth game of the day against second-seeded South Carolina, fifth-seeded Vanderbilt or eighth-seeded Georgia. The Commodores and Bulldogs play tonight and the winner will meet the Gamecocks tomorrow.
    Shafer provided the Gators with a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out, two-RBI single off senior Jon Luke Jacobs (5-4). Junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) (2-for-4, two runs) and senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (2-for-3, two runs) opened the frame with consecutive singles into center field and were sacrificed into scoring position by Turgeon. Jacobs struck out junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) and Shafer roped a 3-2 pitch into left field that brought home both of his teammates.
    Auburn answered in the third on a sacrifice fly by senior Creede Simpson that cut the deficit to 2-1. Sophomore Bobby Andrews led off with an infield single and sophomore Zach Alvord reached on a throwing error by junior Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) before sophomore Jay Gonzalez laid down a sacrifice bunt to move his teammates over. Simpson lofted a sacrifice fly into center field to score Andrews and Crawford fanned sophomore Ryan Tella on three pitches to end the frame.
    AU senior Justin Bryant drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and went to second on a grounder by redshirt sophomore Patrick Savage. Crawford had sophomore Dan Glevenyak line out to freshman third baseman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) and then caught sophomore Blake Austin looking on strikes to strand the runner.
    Crawford struck out Tella to open the sixth, matching his career high of eight K set at Miami (Fla.) on March 4. After Bryant earned a one-out free pass, Crawford fanned Savage for his ninth strikeout to notch a personal best. Glevenyak was hit by a pitch for two Tigers aboard and junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen. Over 5.2 innings in his SEC Tourney debut, Crawford allowed two hits and an unearned run, with nine strikeouts and four walks. Rodriguez set down junior pinch hitter Cullen Wacker on strikes to preserve the Gators’ advantage.
    Turgeon delivered a key two-run double and Shafer chipped in with a two-out RBI single in the home part of the sixth to expand Florida’s lead to 5-1. Johnson and Pigott had consecutive one-out singles and Turgeon’s eighth two-bagger of the year into the gap in right center increased the Gators’ margin to three runs and ended the tenure of Jacobs (5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 6 K, 2 BB). Junior Slade Smith had Ramjit ground out and Shafer blooped a base-knock into right field to drive in Turgeon and pick up his third RBI.
    Junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) gave the Gators another insurance run with a two-out double in the seventh that scored Fontana for a 6-1 cushion. Fontana had singled with one down, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Smith and took third on a grounder by senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.). Zunino collected his SEC-leading 25th double into the right-field corner to bring home Fontana.
    Rodriguez worked 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings, with a couple of strikeouts and walk, before senior Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) took over with one down in the eighth and recorded a pair of outs. Junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) kept the Tigers off the board in the ninth to secure the win. Florida held a 10-3 advantage in hits in taking its opening-round contest for the second-straight year. The Orange and Blue now has four-straight double-digit hit performances.    

    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Post-Game Notes
    Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.

    Game 3 • Tuesday, May 22
    (3) Florida 6, (10) Auburn 1


    •    Today’s game marks the eighth meeting between the Tigers and Gators in the SEC Tournament. Florida’s win give them a 6-2 lead over Auburn in SEC Tourney Games.
    •    Despite the loss, Auburn leads the all-time series over Florida, 123-110-2.
    •    Florida improves to 41-16 on the season while Auburn falls to 30-27. The Gators will not play again until Thursday while Auburn will take on the loser of Georgia/Vanderbilt at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
    •    With a first-inning walk, sophomore RF Jay Gonzalez of Auburn has now reached safely in 12 straight games.
    •    Sophomore CF Ryan Tella of Auburn came through with his ninth bunt single of the season in the first inning.
    •    The Gators’ junior DH Brian Johnson singled in the second and has now reached base safely in 11 consecutive games. Johnson later came through with another single in the sixth for his 15th multi-hit game of the season.
    •    Freshman LF Jordan Shafer of Florida had a 2-RBI single in the second inning to mark his third career multi-RBI game. He then added another RBI in the sixth for his first career 3-RBI game.
    •    Senior 2B Creede Simpson of Auburn moved into a tie for the team lead with his fourth sacrifice fly of the season.
    •    Sophomore P Jonathan Crawford of Florida set a new career high with nine strikeouts on the day. Crawford went on to pitch 5.2 innings while only allowing one run (unearned) off two hits and walked four to improve to 5-2 on the season. It was his first win since April 13th against LSU.
    •    Junior relief pitcher Steven Rodriguez of the Gators came on with two outs in the fifth to tie the SEC lead with 30 appearances on the season.
    •    In three years at the SEC Tournament, Rodriguez has made six appearances and pitched 6.1 innings while giving up no runs off two hits with three strikeouts, a save, and a combined shutout.
    •    Florids freshman 2B Casey Turgeon’s 2-RBI double marked his seventh two-bagger of the season and his 21st and 22nd RBI. Turgeon now has six multi-RBI games this season.
    •    Junior C Mike Zunino of Florida extended his hitting streak to six games in the seventh. His 52 RBIs are second in the SEC.  
    •    Junior reliever Austin Maddox came in for his 27th appearance which is tied for sixth in the SEC. Though it was not a save opportunity, Maddox leads the conference with 12 saves on the season.
    •    Sophomore SS Dan Glevenyak of Auburn connected for his 14th double of the season. His 14 doubles tie him for second on the team.
    •    Auburn’s three hits on the day marks the Tigers’ lowest hit total in a SEC Tournament Game since the 1991 tournament when they could only muster one hit against Mississippi State. It’s the first time a team has been held to three hits or less in an SEC Tournament game since LSU one-hit Ole Miss in 2010.

    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Post-Game Quotes
    Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.

    Game 3 • Tuesday, May 22
    (3) Florida 6, (10) Auburn 1

    Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan
    Opening statement:

    “First of all, I thought that both teams played really well, especially in the first five innings. Jonathan [Crawford] did an outstanding job starting us off. There were a couple of key hits there when we had two outs. Justin [Shafer] had a two-out, full-count single out to left that was a big hit for us. Our offense started coming around a bit, but it all starts on the mound. It was good to get [Austin] Maddox and [Stephen] Rodriguez back out there. They have not been pitching a whole lot in the past couple of days. Overall great team effort. It is always good to get the first one out of the way.”

    Jonathan Crawford (Fr., Pitcher)
    On his effort today…

    “My fastball was working early on, then when I got two strikes I would use the slider. I just lost focus on some pitches.”

    Casey Turgeon (Fr., Second Baseman)
    On his 2-RBI double in the sixth inning…

    “He got behind in the count and left the ball right down the middle for me to square up. The pitcher leaves it over the plate and I will hit it as well as a can.”

    Justin Shafer (Fr., Left Fielder)
    On his 2-RBI single in the second inning…

    “Their pitcher was throwing great. I got behind and was just trying to get a good pitch to square up behind so that I could bat in a couple of runs for us.”

    Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski
    Opening statement:

    “I thought Florida pitched extremely well today. We didn’t have many opportunities to do an awful lot offensively. Give credit to them on the mound. They did a great job. We tried to keep this thing close. I thought Jon Luke (Jacobs) did a very good job early trying to keep this game in check. One inning they put a couple runs on the board, and it’s very difficult when they’re pitching extremely well like that. I thought that was the difference today.”

    On what Florida’s pitching did to limit Auburn’s offense…
    “They’ve executed pitch after pitch. They’ve been very good with locating the fast ball, which they have tremendous arms, tremendous arm strength, velocity, and they have out pitchers. When you have fastball command and you have the ability to put people away in out pitches, that’s what they’ve done. They’ve limited the free bases, but they just have some really good high-end arm strength and some guys with out pitches. I think they’ve really done a good job in the four games that they’ve played against our hitters.”

    Jon Luke Jacobs (Sr., Pitcher)
    On the frustration in facing an explosive lineup like Florida’s…

    “It’s tough. You try to pick your spots when you go after guys. We were trying to stay out of the middle of the lineup right there with (Mike) Zunino and (Preston) Tucker. They’ve had a lot of success this year, so we were trying to pitch around them a little bit and trying to keep the guys in front and behind them off the bags when they came to the plate. You have to tip your hat. Their guys in the middle of the lineup today, I think four, five and six had five of the seven hits or something to that effect. That was our game plan, to not let Tucker and Zunino beat us, and they didn’t, but then again, you have to tip your hat to those guys in the middle of the lineup that were able to put some swings together and score some runs for them. It’s frustrating, it really is, when you pitch around the guys in the middle that have done it all year for them, but then again, the guys behind them score the runs. It’s frustrating. We had some counts where we wish we had some pitches back, but that’s baseball. That’s just part of it. It is what it is.”

    Creede Simpson (Sr., Second base)
    On what Florida did to limit Auburn offensively…

    “We thought we had a good game plan, and we did. We just weren’t able to execute. Hats off to their pitching because they were able to go out there and hit their spots and locate and had good enough stuff to get us out.”