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Florida baseball bounced from SEC Tournament in opening round

There will be no miracle run from the Florida Gators at the 2024 SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

Florida fell, 6-3, to Vanderbilt Tuesday night in a game that was all Commodores until the final two frames.

Pierce Coppola went 3 2/3 innings for the Gators, allowing four earned runs on as many hits and one walk. Despite the damage, Coppola struck out five and threw a season-high 74 pitches. If the draft doesn’t get him, he’s a potential ace for the program next year.

A leadoff walk doomed the second inning for Coppola. A follow-up double put two men in scoring position, and Vanderbilt did what good teams do and scored both runners on sacrifice flies.

Coppola got through the third, 1-2-3, and almost out of the fourth after sandwiching a single between a pair of strikeouts. With two outs, Vanderbilt got to him for two more RBI base hits, knocking Coppola out of the game.

Jake Clemente took over and got the fly out to center he needed to stop the bleeding, but Florida was staring at a four-run deficit halfway through the game.

Vanderbilt’s No. 9 hitter Calvin Hewitt took Clemente deep to start the fifth, but that was the only earned run of the day for him. An error in the seventh led to a sixth run crossing for Vandy, but that doesn’t affect Clemente’s numbers.

Fisher Jameson took over at that point and sent all four batters he faced back to the pine. Florida finally started to put some offense together, but it was too little and too late to impact the end result.

Jac Caglianone scored in the eighth on a Colby Shelton groundout after moving from first to third on a series of passed balls on wild pitches. Micahel Robertson homered, scoring Brody Donay, in the ninth to make the score somewhat respectable.

Florida must now wait until the various conference tournaments conclude to find out whether it makes the NCAA Tournament Field of 64 or not. With a high RPI ranking and the top strength of schedule in the country, the Gators seem poised to receive an at-large bid to a regional. Getting out of that regional alive is a different story entirely, though.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire