Monday February 25, 2013Florida Welcomes UNF To McKethan Stadium On Tuesday
After suffering a weekend sweep at the hands of Atlantic Sun preseason favorite FGCU by scores of 8-2, 8-3 and 7-4 (11), the Gators (3-5) host UNF (5-2) in a Tuesday matchup at McKethan Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. The Ospreys rebounded from a 6-3 setback in 11 innings to The Citadel with a pair of one-run victories (9-8, 4-3) to take the series from the Bulldogs in Jacksonville.
Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network, live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.
Junior RHP Keenan Kish (0-0, 0.00) will be making his second Tuesday night start in a row and the second start of his collegiate career and will oppose UNF junior RHP David Trexler (0-0, 2.35). Kish did not receive a decision at UCF after two scoreless frames in which he gave up two hits, with three strikeouts and a walk.
Quick Hits About the Gators
· Florida seeks to end its four-game losing streak after falling in 11 innings to FGCU on Sunday afternoon.
· The Gators had not dropped a series at McKethan Stadium to a non-conference opponent since 2009, when Miami (FL) took all three games.
· UF has played error-free in its last three outings.
· The meeting with UNF continues stretch of nine-consecutive games versus a Sunshine State foe, as the Gators will host Miami for three games this weekend before a home-and-home set with Jacksonville on March 5 & 6.
· The Gators and Ospreys each held serve on their own turf last season, with UNF taking a 10-5 win in Jacksonville on April 3 and UF collecting a 4-3 decision in 11 innings in Gainesville on May 8.
· Redshirt sophomore 3B Zack Powers led the Gators with a 4-for-10 (.400) weekend against FGCU and paces the squad in batting average (.417), total bases (21), RBI (10) and home runs (3).
· After going 5-for-13 (.385) in the series with the Eagles, freshman SS Richie Martin is riding a six-game hitting streak in which he is 11-for-26 (.423), has reached base in all eight games this year and is batting .364 overall with six runs. He went 3-for-6 in the finale with FGCU and tallied his first career RBI with a fifth-inning single.
· Sophomore OF Justin Shafer was 4-for-11 (.364) on the weekend but took the loss in relief on Sunday (2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 K, 1 BB). His current six-game hitting streak, in which he is 7-for-21 (.333) with six runs and five RBI, is one shy of his career best.
· Freshman RHP Jay Carmichael (0-0, 0.00) had two scoreless appearances covering three innings over the weekend.
· Freshman LHP Parker Danciu has picked up two of Florida’s three wins out of the bullpen. He scattered five hits and allowed two runs over 3.1 innings at UCF after taking over for junior RHP Keenan Kish, who made his collegiate starting debut and threw two scoreless frames.
· Florida has used 14 pitchers already this season, half of which are freshmen (six true, one redshirt).
· The Gator starting pitchers are 0-2 this year and its relievers are 3-3 with two saves.
· UNF third-year head coach Smoke Laval was an assistant at Florida under Jack Rhine during the 1982-83 seasons, while Ospreys’ assistant Tim Parenton was a member of Pat McMahon’s staff from 2005-07.
· Florida is 12-for-17 (.706) on the basepaths this season, keyed by freshmen Harrison Bader (3-for-4) and Martin (3-for-4).
· UF was 3-1 (.750) in extra innings in 2012 and has given the fans free baseball twice in the last four games, but with a disappointing result.
The Gators hold a 6-5 edge over the Ospreys after each team emerged victorious on their own field last season. Six of the 11 contests have been decided by two runs or less. Kevin O’Sullivan is 6-3 (.667) against UNF, 6-1 (.833) in Gainesville and 0-2 (.000) in Jacksonville. The teams will meet again on March 19 at McKethan Stadium.
Mike Zunino delivered a game-winning double in the 11th inning that scored Connor Mitchell all the way from first base as the fifth-ranked Gators edged the Ospreys, 4-3, on May 8, 2012, at McKethan Stadium. Mitchell, who had entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning, began the decisive frame with a single into right field. Mitchell’s second hit of the campaign set the stage for Zunino (3-for-5, two RBI) and the All-American responded by sending a 2-2 pitch into the left-field corner that enabled Mitchell to slide home with the winning run. Ryan Harris picked up the win by hurling a scoreless 11th and the Gator bullpen surrendered one run over 8.1 innings of work, led by four shutout frames by Keenan Kish and 2.2 hitless and scoreless frames by Steven Rodriguez. The teams combined for 27 hits, with UF having a 14-13 advantage, and the teams stranded 27 runners.
Gator freshman INF/OF Brady Roberson will be facing his older brother Ryan, a junior first baseman for the Ospreys who is hitting .417 (10-for-24) with three runs, two RBI, a double and a homer in six games played this season.