May 22, 2009


CBI Live
Gators gone


By Vince Ferrara

Special to


In Game 9 of the SEC Baseball Tournament at Regions Park, the No. 7-seed Arkansas Razorbacks (34-21) eliminated the No. 2-seed Florida Gators (39-20) with a 10-7 win Friday afternoon. Florida is the third team bounced from the tournament, joining Ole Miss and Alabama. Both Gators losses in the tournament were to the Razorbacks. Arkansas is 5-0 versus Florida this season. After going 1-2 in the SEC Tournament, Florida now prepares for a possible regional host spot. Regional sites will be announced Sunday at approximately 2:30 p.m. CT and the NCAA Tournament bracket selection show will be Monday at 11:30 a.m. CT on ESPN.

Arkansas used a young line-up while resting some banged-up seniors to hold off a game Florida team.


"I'm just really excited to get through that one," said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn, "get a win and get to stay in Hoover at least one more day, possibility of playing two tomorrow, which would be fun. At this time of year we just want to play and continue to get better."

Florida produced two big innings but could not keep Arkansas down the next half inning. With Arkansas leading 2-0, Florida scored three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Arkansas responded with a five-run bottom of the fourth to put them back on top 7-3. With Arkansas up 8-3, Florida got right back in the game with a four-run top of the seventh inning. Once again, Arkansas responded with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.


"Their pitching did a nice job," said Florida Gators head coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "The bottom line is the game came down to we didn't stop them after we scored. The big inning hurt us. We could never quite gain the momentum. It seems as though as soon as we got it, we lost it in the bottom half of the inning. It's frustrating."

Neither starter made it out of the fourth inning. Florida used six pitchers in the game. Reliever Greg Larson (3-2) was charged with the loss. Arkansas reliever Sam Murphy (3-1) picked-up the win. Arkansas hitting star Zack Cox came on to pitch the last two innings of perfect relief to earn the save, his first of the year. Cox was also 2 for 3 at the plate with three runs driven in, a walk and a run. Cox also had the most impressive home run of the tournament, which hit off the top of the scoreboard in right center and electrified the crowd at Regions Park.

Both teams committed two errors. Both of Florida's errors were by SS Mike Mooney, who now has 16 on the year.

Offensively for Florida, Brandon McArthur went 3 for 4 with two runs driven in. Jonathan Pigott (right) hit his third home run of the tournament. Pigott only had two homers in the entire regular season.

Arkansas (2-1) will next play Saturday at 10 a.m. CT versus Vanderbilt (2-0) in a highly unexpected 7 vs. 8 seed match-up. If Vanderbilt wins, it will be in the SEC Championship Game Sunday at 3 p.m. CT.  If Arkansas wins, the two teams will play again on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT in an elimination game.

The winner of tonight's LSU (1-1)/South Carolina (1-1) game will next play at 1:30 p.m. CT on Saturday versus Georgia (2-0). If Georgia wins, it will play in the SEC Championship Game Sunday at 3 p.m. CT. If either LSU or South Carolina beat Georgia, those same two teams would play again on Saturday at either 5 or 8 p.m. CT, in an elimination game. If South Carolina beats Georgia, that would set-up a rare (SEC or any conference tournament) weekend of the bottom four seeded teams in the SEC Tournament.

(photo by Jimmy Jones)