(Andy Hutchins/SB Nation)
A night after one of the wildest finishes in Florida baseball's history, the Gators stuck to a familiar script on Saturday. Brian Johnson threw seven strong innings and helped himself out with the bat, and the middle of the order produced, but a cold night from much of the offense doomed the Gators to a 5-3 loss to Georgia on Saturday night.
Johnson allowed seven hits and four runs in seven innings, striking out five and matching his career long for innings in an outing. He let up three runs in the third inning after giving up a two-out double to Brett DeLoach, but allowed just two baserunners — one on a retaliatory plunking — after that point.
Johnson also went 2-for-4 at the plate, and was the only Florida batter to collect multiple hits. Preston Tucker and Daniel Pigott each homered, with Pigott smacking a towering shot to left, but the Gators went hitless after the fourth inning, shut down by Michael Palazzone and Friday night hard-luck loser Blake Dieterich.
The loss dropped the Gators to 10-7 in SEC play, two games behind both LSU and Kentucky, and Florida will be two games behind the winner of the rubber match between those two teams on Sunday if it can win its rubber match with Georgia at 3 p.m. Eastern. Hudson Randall, troubled by arm fatigue, will be making his first start since March 30 against Ole Miss, and Karsten Whitson, also on the long road back from injury, is slated to be the first Gator out of the bullpen. The game will be televised on ESPN2.