Gator Baseball opens SEC Tournament against LSU

Florida opens the SEC Tournament at 5:30pm, facing eighth seeded LSU at Hoover, Ala. The Gators (40-13, 22-8, No. 4) swept LSU (36-20, 14-16) earlier this season. The SEC Tournament, like the College World Series, is double elimination with two sides of the bracket. Florida is bracketed with No. 4 Arkansas and No. 5 Vanderbilt. 

LSU lost 14 of their last 18 games as they have fallen out of the standard of play that won them the 2009 National Championship. Florida has lost only two games in May and one was meaningless as UF had already clinched the SEC Pennant.

Southpaw Brian Johnson (5-2, 3.62) gets the ball today as the Gators ready themselves to have their pitching depth tested. Johnson and UF's starters will have to go deep, leaving the bullpen to mop up any messes late in the Tournament. 

Pitching health and depth has to be the paramount concern for UF. Winning the SEC Tournament does not add anything for UF. There is no difference between a National 1 or National 8 seed until you get to Omaha. Florida is playing to boost their seeding from the the 4 or 5 spot to 2 or 3. That's not worth wearing out a few arms. The Gators should beat LSU and get deep in the tournament. But it will be a blessing in disguise if their time in Hoover is over quickly.

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