Thursday March 7, 2013Florida Baseball Hosts Big Ten Favorite Indiana In Weekend Series
In its final weekend of non-conference action before starting SEC play against No. 11 Kentucky (11-1) next Friday, Florida (7-7) welcomes Big Ten favorite Indiana (6-2) to McKethan Stadium for three games. Start times for the series are 7 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
All three games between the Gators and Hoosiers will be available on GatorVision, while Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel 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 program.
Junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (0-1, 3.60) will make his fourth start of the year to open the series and will face IU junior left-hander Joey DeNato (1-1, 2.03). Over a season-high six innings last Friday against No. 21 Miami, Crawford was not involved in the decision after scattering eight hits and allowing two runs, with three strikeouts and three walks.
In a matchup of right-handers, freshman Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (0-1, 4.15) will oppose Hoosier redshirt sophomore Aaron Slegers (1-0, 0.00) in game two of the series. In 13 innings this year, Simpson has 12 strikeouts and five walks. He had a career-high six K over 4.1 innings last Saturday night against the Hurricanes.
Freshman RHP Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0-0, 5.19) will start Sunday’s finale for the Gators against Indiana sophomore southpaw Kyle Hart (1-0, 3.07). Hanhold held UM to two runs and two hits over 4.1 innings last Sunday.
The Gators are 2-1 (.667) in weekend series this year, defeating Duke and No. 21 Miami (FL) by 2-1 margins, sandwiched around dropping three games to FGCU.
The Hoosiers are coming off of a 3-0 weekend at the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in which they notched victories over West Virginia (8-5), host Coastal Carolina (9-1) and UMBC (7-1). IU was scheduled to play at Indiana State on Wednesday but that contest was snowed out.
Quick Hits About the Gators
· With Wednesday night’s walk-off 7-6 triumph over Jacksonville, Florida established a season high with four straight wins.
· The Gators have come from behind to emerge victorious during all four games of their winning streak.
· UF and Indiana have not met on the diamond since the Orange and Blue swept a two-game series during the 1956 season in Gainesville.
· This weekend will mark the first time that the Gators have played a Big Ten school in a weekend series since sweeping Michigan State at McKethan Stadium from March 11-13, 2005 (17-1, 13-2, 10-0).
· Before the Hoosiers’ visit, Florida’s last outing against a Big Ten team was on Feb. 25, 2006, when it defeated Ohio State (10-3) during The Pepsi Classic held at McKethan Stadium.
· Florida is a stellar 160-41 (.796) on its own turf under Kevin O’Sullivan and is 37-8 (.822) in three-game series in Gainesville under his guidance - 6-1 (.857) in 2008, 6-3 (.667) in 2009, 8-0 (1.000) in 2010, 8-1 (.889) in 2011, 7-2 (.778) in 2012 and 2-1 (.667) in 2013.
· Friday night’s starter, Crawford (0-1, 3.60), has limited opponents to a .204 average in his three starts spanning 15 innings, with 11 strikeouts and six walks.
· Sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (2-0, 3.07) tossed 3.1 scoreless innings and tied his career-best total of six strikeouts against Jacksonville on Tuesday to pick up the win. He has 14 strikeouts and zero walks in 14.2 innings of work in 2013.
· Sophomore OF Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (.415) had two more doubles on Wednesday night to increase his SEC-leading total to nine two-baggers.
· Freshman SS Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) is sidelined after being injured in last Sunday’s finale with Miami (FL). He is riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-42 (.357). Martin has reached base in all 12 games this year and is batting .327 overall with seven runs and three stolen bases in three attempts.
· Senior 1B Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to five games by going 3-for-4 with two runs to complete the sweep over the Dolphins. He is 7-for-20 (.350) with five runs and three RBI during the skein.
· Florida has used 14 pitchers already this season, half of which are freshmen (six true, one redshirt).
· Sophomore RHP Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2-1, 4.15) has made a team-high nine relief appearances and has recorded nine K and three BB in 17.1 innings.
· UF has played error-free baseball in three of its last five contests.
Florida and Indiana have met just twice previously, with the Gators taking both games during the 1956 season in Gainesville by scores of 5-4 and 4-3. Prior to this weekend, Kevin O’Sullivan has never been a head coach when facing a Big Ten program.
Last Meeting Against A Big Ten Opponent
It’s been quite awhile since the Gators have met a Big Ten foe, all the way back to Feb. 25, 2006. On that occasion, right-hander Bryan Augenstein notched a career-high 10 strikeouts over 7.1 innings and top-ranked Florida (8-2) banged out 14 hits in a 10-3 win over Ohio State (0-2) at The Pepsi Baseball Classic in front of 3,940 fans at McKethan Stadium.
Augenstein scattered eight hits and allowed two unearned runs in running his season ledger to 3-0. David Cash was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, Matt Gaski was 3-for-5 and Adam Davis launched a three-run homer for the Gators. Leading 4-2 in the seventh, the Orange and Blue plated five runs to build a 9-2 lead. UF loaded the bases with none out, as Brian Jeroloman singled to left center, Austin Pride’s sacrifice attempt was misplayed and Cody Neer walked. Cash greeted reliever Matthew Selhorst with an RBI single to left before Gaski lined into a 9-6 double play. Greg Quatrino lashed a pinch-hit single just out of the third baseman’s reach to give the hosts a 6-2 lead and Davis blasted a three-run shot into the left-field bleachers for his second round-tripper of the campaign and a seven-run margin. Jeroloman later lofted a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Gavin Dickey with UF’s final run. The Gators improved to 6-1 (.857) all-time against Ohio State with the victory.