Here’s a sentence that’s starting to look familiar: despite losing the series opener on (insert day; in this case, Thursday), Florida rebounded to win yesterday and today to claim the series over (insert team; in this case, Auburn).
That’s been the story for Florida’s baseball team this year. They’ve lost the opening game of series against Alabama, Georgia, Vanderbilt and now Auburn, and bounced back to win the next two games of each series. The way the regular season works- with no possibility of elimination from national championship contention- it doesn’t matter.
It might going forward, though.
Of course, in the double elimination NCAA Tournament, Florida could hypothetically afford to lose once in each of the four stages (Regionals, Super Regionals, College World Series pool play and College World Series Championship Series) and still win the whole thing. But they’ll be facing really good teams then, too, so playing with fire much longer may result in a fatal burn.
For now, however, it may just be best to sit back and shake our head while simultaneously smiling at the most important fact: Florida won a baseball series despite playing terribly. Again.
The Gators’ offense could only muster 18 hits for the weekend against an Auburn team that’s well under .500 in SEC play. This was quite a drop off from the 29 they collected against 8th ranked Vanderbilt last weekend…
OK, I’ll stop whining, because the Gators have shown a knack for winning games despite rather underwhelming performances. The fact is that they did hit two homers to win today’s game, a solo shot by Peter Alonso in the second inning and a two run blast by Josh Tobias in the 6th. And they did fight back from a 3-0 deficit last night on a nice fourth inning rally to tie it, and Peter Alonso did hit what turned out to be the game winning sacrifice fly two innings later. So this may not have been the most dynamic performance, but it was a clutch one. And clutch is something they’ve been all year, most recently last weekend against Vanderbilt, but that they were not in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
So with this year’s SEC and NCAA Tournaments looming, being clutch is all we as fans can ask this team to be.