When Florida's baseball team entered its Friday night matchup with Kentucky, the SEC East was its for the taking. And with staff ace Hudson Randall taking the mound, the Gators appeared to have a great chance of sewing up the conference's regular season title, too.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
Kentucky (25-29, 8-21 SEC) beat Florida (40-15, 21-8 SEC), 14-1, by striking early and often. The Wildcats hammered Randall for four runs on seven hits through four innings and touching up three Florida relievers for seven runs in the fifth inning.
Florida's lone run came on a double by Preston Tucker in the first inning that scored Mike Zunino. The Gators never led, and fanned 10 times, nine against Kentucky starter Alex Meyer.
With the loss, Florida falls back into a tie for first place in the SEC East with South Carolina and Vanderbilt. We'll have more coverage of the scenarios created by Florida's Friday loss later today, but, thanks to tiebreakers, the only way the Gators can win the SEC East — and, by extension, the SEC's regular season crown — is with a win over Kentucky tonight and a South Carolina loss to Alabama.
Congrats, people who expressed concern about Florida's chances to finish the job last night in the comments of our recap of Thursday's win over Kentucky: You were right to worry.