When the Florida Gators first took a lead on the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday in the SEC baseball tournament, there had to be a little bit of deja vu going on. After all, in a game earlier this week, Florida had a couple of big innings against the Razorbacks and seemed to be close to running away with things -- but never did, and Arkansas would come back to win the game with a three-run inning in the ninth.
There was no opportunity for a ninth-inning comeback on Friday, because the Gators scored 10 runs in less than seven innings to run-rule Arkansas and advance to the semifinals to face top-seeded LSU on Saturday. Florida's offensive show wasn't quite as impressive as Vanderbilt's 16-1 annihilation of Alabama in Friday's first game in Hoover, but it was enough to spare the Florida bullpen. A.J. Puk threw seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing three walks while striking out 11. The Razorbacks never had two men on base at the start of an at-bat.
For Arkansas, there's not much of a loss here. It would have been hard for the Razorbacks to think seriously about hosting a regional without winning the tournament outright, and probably even if they had. But they've wrapped up a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, and probably one very close to home. Before the SEC tournament, Arkansas hadn't lost back-to-back games since March 24; it's a dangerous team to face in the postseason.