HOOVER, Ala. –When you talk about a team winning a division or conference title in any sport, they have to lead in some kind of statistical category, right?
Well, for Florida’s baseball team — the regular season champs in the SEC — that’s not entirely true. The Gators lead in one statistical category: sacrificed bunts. And I’m not some brilliant philosopher, but leading a statistic like that can’t guarantee you a championship in any conference, especially the SEC.
Of course Florida is a good team. Their lineup really has no tough out, their pitching is above-average, and they play smart and are an extremely well coached team. Ultimately, though, to not be near the top statistically in batting average, pitching, or even stolen bases (just anything really besides sacrificed bunts), it’s pretty shocking to see their great success.
Tonight, in their first game at the Hoover Met for the SEC baseball tournament, the Gators were upended by a solid Kentucky team that appeared to be better than the Gators all afternoon. For the 3rd time this year, "Big blue" knocked off Florida with a 2-run big fly by Max Kuhn and solid pitching from 6’7″ big man, Kyle Cody.
And although Florida was able to string together some hits in the early going, the fire power just didn’t seem to be there. Which makes you wonder, how, just how was this team so successful all year?
It’s baseball. It’s a sport where the stat-feinds find enjoyment each and every day searching through almanacs archiving the game’s history. But nope, the Gators don’t lead in one big category and they don’t even come rank within the top 3 either. It’s like a crime story and you have all the evidence, but you can’t convict the guy. I have all the evidence to suggest Florida’s mediocrity as a baseball team, but that’s why stats are stats and eyes are eyes.
Sure, today, Florida didn’t look great. But game by game they lull teams to sleep with their fundamentals — similar to the San Antonio Spurs — and playing like that, they’ll always be a tough out.
Fortunately, for teams looking to bolster their resume heading into the NCAA tournament, they will have a chance to advance with Florida possibly being ousted tomorrow at the Met in a game at approximately 7:30 P.M.
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