Up for grabs

SEC regular-season baseball race comes down to final series

Florida’s Austin Langworthy slides home to score a run earlier this season at McKethan Stadium, site for a pivotal final SEC regular-season series starting tongiht. Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer Last Modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.

When the race began, Florida’s baseball team dropped the baton shortly after leaving the starting line. Midway through the race, the Gators looked as if they were running in Timberlands made out of cement.

Who: No. 6 Kentucky (37-16, 18-9 SEC) vs. No. 5 Florida (38-14, 19-8)

When: 7 p.m.

Where: McKethan Stadium

TV: ESPN

Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM

Pitching matchup: UK sophomore righty Sean Hjelle (8-2, 3.28 ERA) vs. UF junior righty Alex Faedo (7-1, 2.33)

Weekend: 7 p.m. Friday, SEC Network, and 1 p.m. Saturday

But down the stretch they’ve come and suddenly Florida finds itself out in front in the SEC.

Still, to win the race you have to finish the it. Tonight at 7, the No. 5 Gators start a three-game series with No. 6 Kentucky (18-9), which is a game behind the Gators (19-8).

Across the division, LSU (18-9) and Mississippi State (17-10) are also playing a three-game series.Anyone want to race to the trophy?“It’s going to be a very interesting weekend,” said Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan. “It’s amazing how you play 30 (conference) games and it always comes down to the last series or last game.”Florida needs two wins to clinch at least a share of the conference title.There is also this — all four teams at the top of the SEC food chain know in the back of their minds that a nosedive could mean they would not have a bye at the SEC Tournament and would have to play Tuesday.And there are also teams in the league jostling to make their cases to be regional hosts and to get into next week’s SEC Tournament.While there is a lot going on, all Florida can focus on is trying to win its first SEC title since 2014.A year ago, the Gators went to Baton Rouge with a chance and fell short.“Last year we were put into kind of the same situation and we didn’t really have the same weekend,” tonight’s starter Alex Faedo said. “Now we know that it’s not going to be given to us and we’re going to have to win some games.” Unfortunately, this article is either no longer in our system or is in a different location.To find additional or related content, you can check out latest articles or use our site search function above.Thank you.