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Florida Baseball Drops First Series of 2012 Season at Ole Miss

The Florida baseball team played its most up-and-down series of the season this weekend at Mississippi. It was also the Gators' first series loss of the year: a throwing error by Taylor Gushue in the bottom of the ninth scored Ole Miss' winning run in an 7-6 loss on Sunday, allowing the No. 16 Rebels to take a 2-1 series win over No. 1 Florida.

Florida almost overachieved by getting back into the game. Starter Jonathon Crawford had his poorest outing of the season on Sunday, allowing five earned runs in 1.2 innings, and Ole Miss had a 5-0 lead after two full. But Steven "Paco" Rodriguez settled in for the Gators, scattering five hits over four full innings and striking out six, and allowing Florida to rally back to a 6-5 lead with four runs in the fourth and a run each in the sixth and the top of the seventh. Vickash Ramjit, Justin Shafer, and Preston Tucker all had RBI singles for the Gators, and Nolan Fontana's solo homer in the sixth was the game-tying shot.

But Greg Larson's throwing error in the bottom of the seventh helped allow Ole Miss to tie things up at 6-6, and Austin Maddox, inserted to mop up Larson's mess and left in to try for a three-inning save, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth before Gushue threw high coming home, allowing pinch runner Bobby Wahl to score and give the Rebels the game.

The loss dropped Florida to 24-4 on the season, and 6-3 in SEC play, but the Gators may well keep their No. 1 ranking despite that. No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 Arkansas were both swept in weekend series, and the No. 4 Florida State team that would rise past those schools is 0-2 against the Gators this year.