Monday February 20, 2012UF Baseball's Taylor Gushue Named SEC Freshman of the Week
University of Florida designated hitter/catcher Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) was chosen as the initial Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the 2012 season on Monday after a memorable opening weekend.
Having enrolled at Florida in January after graduating from Calvary Christian Academy a semester early, Gushue homered on the first pitch he saw as a collegian Friday night in the Gators’ opener against No. 16 Cal State Fullerton. With a solo shot with two down in the second inning off CSF ace Dylan Floro, Gushue became the first UF player to homer on his first swing since Chris Freshcorn accomplished the feat on March 5, 2008, against Campbell. Current junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) homered in his collegiate at bat against USF on Feb. 19, 2010.
Gushue was one of three freshmen to start on Opening Night for head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club, joining third baseman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) and second baseman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.). Gushue moved Florida in front on Saturday with a two-run triple in the fourth inning of an eventual 5-2 win and batted .286 (2-for-7) with three RBI, two runs and a 1.000 slugging percentage in the two games he played.
Tennessee junior right-hander/first baseman Drew Steckenrider was tabbed as the SEC Player of the Week, while Arkansas sophomore right-hander Barrett Astin was the league’s Pitcher of the Week. The No. 1 Gators (2-1) return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to face Bethune-Cookman (2-1) at McKethan Stadium. Freshman right-hander Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (0-0, 0.00) will oppose Wildcat sophomore right-hander Scott Garner (0-0, 4.50).