The No. 5 Florida Gators got an important win on Thursday night, beating the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats 5-3. The Gators needed the victory over their SEC rivals to not only get the three-game weekend series headed in the right direction, but to also put the memories of a 2-3 record last week behind them.
The Gators improved to 34-12 (13-9 SEC) thanks to early run production that saw them up 4-0 after only three innings. It would be two more innings before the Wildcats would put their first run on the scoreboard, but they’d never be able to overtake the Gators start.
Senior right fielder Preston Tucker hit his 12th homerun of the season in the first inning – a solo shot that put Florida up 1-0 early. Tucker would drive in another run and score another of his own in the three-run third inning. The Gators added one final run in the ninth for good measure.
Florida only needed two pitchers in the win. Junior starter Hudson Randall and junior reliever Steven Rodriguez held Kentucky to eight ...