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Florida baseball sweeps series with Mississippi State

Gators score four or more runs in 9th inning for second straight game
Sterlin Thompson walks to the dugout after hitting a home run.
Sterlin Thompson walks to the dugout after hitting a home run.(WCJB)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT
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STARKVILLE, M.S. (WCJB) - With only nine games remaining before the end of Florida baseball’s regular season, every win the team earns is a crucial step toward qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. So, with the possibility of sweeping their conference series with Mississippi State, the orange and blue summoned a bit of late-game magic to get the job done.

For the second consecutive game, the Gators (29-18) rattled off four runs in the top of the 9th to break open a one-run contest and leave the Bulldogs (25-23) licking their wounds, as Florida left Stark-Vegas with a 6-2 win.

On the hill, Nick Pogue earned a no-decision, but had a stellar outing. Pogue only allowed one run on one hit and struck out four Bulldogs in five innings. The only run he allowed came in the bottom of the first with two outs, thanks to a sky-high pop up that never left the infield, but got lost in the sun by shortstop Josh Rivera to bounce off the dirt and allow Logan Tanner to touch home.

However, Rivera atoned for his mistake the very next inning. With runners on second and third and one out, and the defense playing normal depth, Rivera drove in Jac Caglianone with a ground out to short to tie the game, 1-1.

The game remained deadlocked at one all the way until the top of the 8th.

In the top-half of the inning, Sterlin Thompson belted a solo home run to right field on a 1-2 count. His ninth homer of the season put the Gainesville crew ahead, 2-1.

In the top of the 9th, hoping to score at least one insurance run, Florida summoned the same magic it produced to win Saturday night’s middle contest.

With the bases loaded and 1 out, Wyatt Langford slapped a single through the right side of the infield to plate Rivera and Corey Robinson. The 2-run single boosted the lead from 4-1, but the offense didn’t stop there.

The very next batter, Thompson, added to his rbi total for the day by producing a 2-run single of his own. He drove in Langford and Colby Halter on the base hit to right field. It was a mirror image of Saturday night’s explosion, when Florida scored six runs in the top of the 9th to win 9-3 to clinch the series.

Gators Reliever Jameson Fischer did surrender a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th, but that was the only blemish on his resume for the day, as he closed out Bulldogs shortly after.

Florida’s sweep of Mississippi State puts them at 11-13 against SEC competition. The Gators have a good chance of ending the season with a winning record in conference play, as they face Missouri and South Carolina in the final two conference series of the season. Both teams have worse records than Florida in SEC play.

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