No. 24 Tennessee led Florida 9-2 in the fourth inning before the Gators stormed back to stun the Vols 10-9 on Friday in the series opener.
With the loss, Tennessee is 1-6 in its last seven SEC games.
The Vols put together a five-run fourth inning but did not score again. Florida answered with a four-run seventh before Nelson Maldonado hit his second home run in the game to give the Gators a 10-9 lead in the eighth.
Al Soularie did all he could to keep Tennessee in front, going 3-5 at the plate with a pair of runs and two RBI.
Garrett Stallings struck out nine over six innings for Tennessee. The nine punchouts were a new career high in an SEC games for Stallings and one shy of his overall career high. But the wheels came off when he got pulled to start the seventh. Richard Jackson hit two batters in a row, one to load the bases and the other to cut the Vols’ lead to 9-5. Redmond Walsh, who is now 0-2 this season, gave up the game-winning two-run home run to Maldonado in the eighth.
Tennessee will look to even the series Saturday at 3 p.m.