Homers Power Gators' Romp; Six Home Runs, Three by Thompson, Lead Florida into the Super Regional

By Dirocco, Michael | The Florida Times Union, June 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

Homers Power Gators' Romp; Six Home Runs, Three by Thompson, Lead Florida into the Super Regional


Dirocco, Michael, The Florida Times Union


Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE - Tyler Thompson has never been a power hitter.

Not at Jupiter High School, where he hit just six home runs as a senior, and not in his first two seasons at Florida.

So he was equally as surprised as his teammates after he hit his third home run in Florida's 15-0 rout of Florida Atlantic, which sends the Gators to next weekend's super regional against the winner of today's Texas A&M-Miami game.

"No way," Thompson said he thought as he rounded the bases in the eighth inning Sunday night.

Fellow sophomore Preston Tucker wasn't as kind.

"The reaction was disbelief," Tucker said. "I know he can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but three in a game is pretty tough to do."

So tough that no one else in school history had done in an NCAA tournament game. Not even Matt LaPorta or Brad Wilkerson, the top two home-run hitters in school history.

But Thompson will hold that record even though the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder had hit just three home runs through the first 91 games of his collegiate career. In addition to the three-run shot to right-center field in the eighth inning, he hit solo shots in the third and fifth innings.

Thompson has no idea why the sudden power surge.

"I wish I could tell you so I can do it next time, too," said Thompson, who also drove in a run with a double in the second inning and ended the night with a career-high six RBI. "[He was] just trying to cut my swing down, stay back, see the ball good and all the way in."

His teammates had a lot of fun watching them go out, too. …

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