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Thursday March 28, 2013Florida Baseball Welcomes No. 11 Ole Miss To McKethan Stadium

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida (11-15/2-4 SEC) faces No. 11 Ole Miss (22-4/3-3 SEC) in its third SEC series of the season this weekend at McKethan Stadium. The Gators dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to No. 4 Florida State on Tuesday night, while the Rebels topped Arkansas State, 10-4, on Wednesday night.

 

Friday’s opener between the Gators and Rebels will be carried live on GatorVision, at 7 p.m. Rod Delmonico and Bernie Guenther will broadcast Saturday’s game at 1 p.m. for CSS, which will be carried on Cox Sports Channel 199 in Gainesville. Nick Belmonte and Larry Vettel will be in the booth for Sunday’s finale at 1 p.m. on Sun Sports, Channel 48 and Channel 1048 (HD) in Gainesville.

 

Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network this weekend. 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.

 

Freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) (3-1, 1.88) will make his third Friday night start in a row to begin the series and face Rebels junior right-hander Bobby Wahl (6-0, 1.67). Carmichael registered his first SEC victory last week, when he out-dueled Vanderbilt left-hander Kevin Ziomek. Making his second collegiate start and first on the road, Carmichael permitted one run and three hits over five innings in a 7-1 triumph.

 

Junior righty Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (0-4, 5.67) is set to go on Saturday night for the Orange and Blue against Ole Miss junior righty Mike Mayers (2-2, 2.83). Crawford has worked at least six innings in his last four starts and leads the club with 26 strikeouts.

 

Sophomore right-hander Chris Ellis (1-1, 9.00) will start for UM on Sunday afternoon against a Gator pitcher to be announced.

 

Quick Hits About the Gators

·         Florida seeks to halt a three-game slide and has fallen by a run in its past two outings - 5-4 at No. 2 Vanderbilt & 2-1 vs. No. 4 Florida State in Jacksonville.

·         After facing two Eastern Division counterparts to begin SEC action in No. 10 Kentucky and No. 2 Vanderbilt, the Gators will meet No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 16 Mississippi State from the Western Division over the next two weekends.

·         UF will continue to alternate home-and-away league series for the remainder of the campaign.

·         The series with No. 11 Ole Miss continues a challenging stretch in which UF has met top-15 foes in eight of the last nine games.

·         According to Warren Nolan, the Gators’ strength of schedule currently is No. 1 nationally, as UF’s opponents have a combined record of 412-156 (.725). The next best SEC school on the list is Georgia at No. 5 (354-215, .622). Rutgers checks in at No. 2 with an opponent winning percentage of .680 (287-135).

·         Sophomore C Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (.265) has belted three homers in the past five games, highlighted by a three-run blast in the sixth inning of the series opener in Nashville that moved the Gators in front of the second-ranked Commodores.

·         Freshman OF Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) is batting a team-high .325 (13-for-40) over the past 10 games. He had a career-long eight-game hitting streak halted last Sunday, a stretch in which he was 13-for-33 (.394).

·         Sophomore 2B Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) has a .353 (6-for-17) average in six SEC games to pace UF’s offense and homered twice in the series with Kentucky.

·         Florida is 8-12 (.400) at McKethan Stadium this year and has a 2-4 (.333) mark in weekend series. The team’s last five series have come down to a rubber game on Sunday.

·         Sophomore RHP Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (3-2, 3.62) has made a team-high 16 relief appearances and has recorded 14 K and seven BB in 27.1 innings.

·         The Gators are 6-5 (.545) when scoring first and 5-10 (.333) when their opponent scores first. Seven of UF’s 11 wins this season have come when it has scored in the opening stanza.

·         Freshman SS Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) remains sidelined after being injured in the finale with Miami (FL) on March 3. He is riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-42 (.357). Martin has reached base in all 12 games he played this year and is batting .327 overall with seven runs and three stolen bases in three attempts.

·         O’Sullivan is 87-70 (.554) in his career against ranked opponents, with a 47-23 (.671) record at McKethan Stadium. The Gators are 3-4 (.429) at home this season versus ranked foes. Florida’s four wins over top-25 competition is tied for the second-most in the SEC behind Ole Miss (5).

·         Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) is 2-0 with four saves and a 2.35 ERA in 23 innings and 13 appearances this season. The righty has 19 strikeouts, two shy of the 21 he totaled as a freshman, and permitted just two walks. Magliozzi was summoned in the first inning of the finale at Vanderbilt and matched his season high with 3.2 innings in which he allowed one hit and an unearned run.

·         Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (.291) occupies the top spot for the Gators in runs (20) and is tied for the team lead in both RBI (16) and homers (3). With 11 walks, he is tied for second on the squad behind sophomore Gushue (14).

·         Since being inserted into the leadoff spot for the Gators, Turgeon is hitting a team-best .333 (18-for-54), with 10 runs and eight RBI over the last 14 contests.

Series Nuggets

Florida has a 46-44 (.511) advantage in the all-time series against Ole Miss, including a 26-13 (.667) edge in Gainesville. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 9-7 (.563) against the Rebels, 4-2 (.667) in Gainesville, 4-5 (.444) in Oxford and 1-0 (1.000) in Hoover, Ala., for the SEC Tournament.

 

2012 Series Recap In Oxford

Over the weekend of March 30-April 1 last season, No. 1 Florida split its first two games at No. 16 Ole Miss, falling in the opener, 3-0, before evening the series with a 9-4 victory. The Rebels captured the rubber game, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon on a throwing error with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.

 

The series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field drew a total of 27,991 fans, at the time the second-highest series total in the facility’s history. It was the first series loss of the year for the Gators and was the club’s first regular-season series setback since dropping two of three at No. 18 Arkansas in May of 2011.

 

UF had trailed by a 5-0 margin and had taken a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning on a solo homer by Preston Tucker before the Rebels tied the game in the bottom of that frame. Deadlocked at 6-6 entering the home part of the ninth and with no inning allowed to begin after 3:45 p.m. CT, the Rebels loaded the bases with one down. With an extra infielder deployed, UM’s Senquez Golson hit a grounder to first base but an errant throw enabled pinch runner Bobby Wahl to score the winning run. Florida belted three solo homers in the setback, by Daniel Pigott (4th), Nolan Fontana (6th) and Tucker (7th).

 

UF used a six-run eighth inning, highlighted by a tie-breaking, three-run homer by Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.), to post a 9-4 win on Saturday afternoon. O’Sullivan picked up his 200th career victory to become the fastest Gator baseball coach to reach that plateau.

 

After being limited to a season-low three hits on Friday night, the Gators banged out 17 hits, including a season-high seven doubles, to match their highest output in a game last year. Magliozzi improved to 4-0 by having the Rebels leave the bases loaded in the seventh when they led by a run. Trailing 3-2 entering the eighth, Florida erupted for six runs on six hits in the stanza by sending 10 batters to the plate.

 

Wahl fired eight scoreless innings as Ole Miss claimed the opener of the three-game series, 3-0. Wahl limited the Gators to a pair of singles and Brett Huber overcame a leadoff triple in the ninth by Pigott to preserve the shutout and pick up his sixth save. It marked the first time that UF had been shut out since March 8, 2011, by Georgia Southern (7-0).

 

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