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The Florida Gators run in Hoover ended Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers. The loss marked the first time this season that the Gators were shut out in 2021.

Tennessee sent junior reliever Camden Sewell to the mound just hoping for a couple of strong innings but what they got was an absolute gem.

“He kept us off balance with his fastball/slider mix,” outfielder Jacob Young said. “We didn’t get a lot of good swings off it early. I thought that we pitched very well.”

Sewell was dominant early on. He retired the first nine batters he faced, striking out the side in the second inning.

The Vols, fresh off of a run-rule win over Mississippi State, and a clobbering of Alabama, got on the board in the third inning.

Making his first SEC start, second-year freshman Brandon Sproat had navigated around two first inning singles before retiring the side in order in the second inning. Connor Pavolony led the third off with a single and Sproat gave Liam Spence a free pass. Max Ferguson executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position. Jake Rucker grounded to Nathan Hickey, who made a heads up play to throw home, getting Pavoloy at the plate. Florida elected to intentionally walk Drew Gilbert to load the bases but Evan Russell made the Gators pay with a single through the left side to score Spence. Rucker rounded third and was sent home but gunned down at the plate by Jacob Young in left field, Young’s seventh outfield assist of the season.

The Vols scored two more in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk and a double to make the game 2-0, then added another run on a wild pitch.

Florida, meanwhile just couldn’t get anything going. The bats had been hot the last two games scoring 20 runs in wins over Kentucky and Alabama on 32 hits but had just two base knocks through eight innings.

The loss will hurt for today but the Gators will quickly turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament. The Gators have been on the road for more than 10 days after going straight from Fayetteville to Hoover, and are looking forward to getting back home.

“I am pleased with how we played. I thought it started with Arkansas, to be honest with you,” Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought we played three really competitive games. A couple of those games got away late. I thought we played really well up there even though we weren’t able to get out with a win.”

“Obviously, starting pitching has been outstanding all week. We swung the bats. I think we learned a lot about our team.”