Gators run-rule, eliminate MSU


Mississippi State pitcher Austin Sexton reacts as he walks off the field during the second inning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Mississippi State pitcher Austin Sexton reacts as he walks off the field during the second inning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

HOOVER, Ala., – Top-seeded Mississippi State was presented its trophy for winning the regular season Southeastern Conference championship on Wednesday.

But a new team will be hoisting some hardware following Sunday’s SEC Tournament championship game after the Bulldogs were unceremoniously ousted via the 10-run mercy run by No. 4 seed Florida 12-2 in seven innings on Friday.

“We won the Southeastern Conference but that means nothing because there’s only a small gap in any team in our league,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “If you don’t show up and really let the game come to you, focus in and make great decisions then these are the things that are going to happen to you.”

It was only the second time the Diamond Dogs had been run-ruled at the SEC Tournament and first since LSU did so in a 17-5 win in 2003. It was also the first time Mississippi State has dropped back-to-back games since being swept by Texas A&M in mid-April.

“It was embarrassing,” said MSU third baseman Gavin Collins. “We’ve got a lot of work to do this week and we all know that. We’re going to get after it and have a different look when the regional comes.”

Regional host sites will be announced Sunday on at 7:30 p.m. and the remainder of the field including which teams are national seeds on Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

The Gators jumped on State starter Austin Sexton early plating five runs in their first two at bats and then added another four-run frame in the sixth off the Bulldogs’ bullpen.

Florida advances ahead to face fifth-seed LSU at 3:30 p.m. today on SEC Network.

The Gators (46-12) finished the game with 14 hits led by JJ Schwarz, who was a home run shy of the cycle going 4-for-5 with four RBIs.

Alex Faedo went the distance for Florida to improve to 12-1 on the mound. Faedo fanned five and allowed two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.

Sexton suffered the loss, falling to 7-3. He surrendered a career-worst six earned runs and 11 hits during his 4 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.

Nathaniel Lowe led the way at the plate for MSU going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Collins and Jack Kruger also doubled as the Bulldogs fell to 41-16-1 on the year.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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