Thursday April 18, 2013Florida Baseball Visits SEC Newcomer Missouri For The First Time
Riding a season-high six-game winning streak, Florida (20-18/8-7 SEC) journeys to the Show Me State for a weekend series against Missouri (12-20/4-11 SEC), now a fellow Eastern Division member. Game times this weekend are 7 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday (Eastern times listed).
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 on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
Junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (2-5, 4.17) will be making his team-leading 10th start to kick off the series with Missouri and will oppose MU junior left-hander Rob Zastryzny (2-6, 3.67). Crawford defeated No. 8 South Carolina in his last outing and is 2-3 with a 4.13 ERA in five SEC outings, with 26 K in 32.2 innings and an opponent batting average of .234.
Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-3, 3.51) is set for his fourth-consecutive weekend start after going game two against the Gamecocks last weekend and receiving a no-decision. The lefty boasts a 2.30 ERA in five SEC appearances spanning 15.2 innings. Young will face Tiger sophomore right-hander Brett Graves (0-5, 5.24). Neither team has announced a starter for Sunday’s finale.
With an 8-7 league record, Florida fell to No. 10 Kentucky twice on the opening SEC weekend at McKethan Stadium, was on the short end of a 2-1 series at No. 2 Vanderbilt, took two of three games from No. 11 Ole Miss, dropped a pair of outings at No. 17 Mississippi State and swept No. 8 South Carolina.
Missouri (4-11) has captured one of its five series in conference action. The Tigers kicked off SEC play by losing two of three to No. 5 South Carolina (L, L, W), fell twice at Tennessee (L, L, W), was swept at home by No. 2 LSU, took two at Georgia (W, L, W) and was swept at No. 3 Vanderbilt last weekend.
In the Gators’ last game, sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the sixth inning and Florida added three more runs in the seventh inning to post a 5-3 victory over FGCU on Tuesday night in front of 4,525 spectators at Hammond Stadium, the home of the Fort Myers Miracle and the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins.
Sophomore left-hander Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (1-0) permitted one run and four hits over a career-high 5.1 innings to lift the Gators to their sixth-consecutive victory, while sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (2-for-4) delivered a two-run double in the seventh, senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-4) chipped in with a two-out RBI single in the seventh and sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) went 2-for-5.
Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) had three strikeouts over the final 1.2 innings to secure his ninth save in 10 opportunities this season. The Gators overcame five errors, leading to two unearned runs, in downing the Eagles in the teams’ fourth meeting of the campaign.
Quick Hits About the Gators
· Florida notched its sixth win in a row on Tuesday night with a 5-3 triumph over FGCU at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
· The Gators enter the set with Missouri riding the longest overall winning streak in the SEC and the squad has won its last four league outings.
· Florida is 2-3 (.400) in its five conference series and every team it has faced to this point has been ranked (Nos. 10, 2, 11, 17, 8, respectively).
· In its last league action, UF posted a three-game sweep of defending SEC East champion No. 8 South Carolina over the weekend in McKethan Stadium.
· Saturday’s 14-5 victory over the Gamecocks pushed the Gators over the .500 mark for the first time since February 20, when they were 3-2.
· In the Gators’ six-game winning streak, the team is hitting .303 with a 2.83 ERA and boasts a fielding percentage of .974 (six errors).
· Offensive leaders in the skein include Ramjit (.429, 7 R, 2 2B), freshman OF Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (.381, 6 R, 5 RBI) and Tobias (.375, 6 RBI, 2 R).
· Bader was tabbed as the SEC’s Freshman of the Week for the first time in his career after hitting .462 (6-for-13) in the Gators’ 4-0 stretch.
· Ramjit was a sizzling .667 (6-for-9) in the set with six runs and a pair of doubles in the sixth inning of the finale against the Gamecocks.
· Tied at four runs apiece in the sixth, the Gators erupted for 10 runs on eight hits, marking the first time in eight years they had reached double-digit runs in a frame. UF sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning and its first 10 hitters reached base, eight via a hit.
· Junior LHP Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) (2-0, 2.00) collected his first two wins of the campaign over No. 7 FSU on April 9 and No. 8 South Carolina on April 13. He has not been scored upon in his last nine outings spanning 15 innings.
· UF has played the toughest schedule to date in the nation, as its opponents have a combined record of 896-394 (.695).
· The Gators are 6-5 (.545) away from Gainesville this season, 6-4 (.600) in a road game and 0-1 at a neutral site (2-1 loss to Florida State in Jacksonville on March 26).
· Magliozzi (3-1, 2.04) saved the first two wins over South Carolina, each by a run, then picked up another save versus FGCU. Over 39.2 innings this season, the righty has totaled 31 strikeouts and issued just six walks, with nine saves in 10 opportunities and an opponent batting average of .196. The single-season school record for saves is 13, shared by Danny Wheeler (1994) & Josh Fogg (1998).
· Since freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (.272, 11 R, 5 BB, 3-3 SB) has been starting in center field, Florida is a perfect 6-0.
· The Gators are 11-8 (.579) when playing error-free baseball this year, including five of the past seven contests.
· Twenty-one of UF’s 38 contests this spring have come against ranked teams and the squad’s 11 wins over top-25 is the most in the SEC.
· Florida led the nation last year in homers with 75 but is seeking to end a nine-game drought without a big fly dating back to March 31.
Florida has taken five of its six previous encounters with Missouri, but the teams will be meeting for the first time in seven years and are now both members of the SEC.
The Gators registered a 7-3 victory in the NCAA South Regional hosted in Coral Gables, Fla., on May 22, 1981, and pulled out a 6-5 decision in a mid-week game in Gainesville on March 1, 1984.
The teams played a weekend series at McKethan Stadium over the weekend of Feb. 28-March 1, 1992, when Joe Arnold’s club posted a sweep, 10-2, 8-3 and 4-3 in 11 innings. The Tigers ended the five-game slide to the Orange and Blue with a 14-5 win during the 2006 campaign in a weekend tourney that was held in Gainesville along with Ohio State and Wake Forest.