Thursday April 25, 2013Florida Baseball Hosts Weekend Series Versus SEC East Rival Tennessee
After a 12-1 victory over No. 25 USF on Tuesday night, Florida (23-19/10-8 SEC) continues its homestand against East rival Tennessee (17-22/5-13 SEC). The Vols fell to Middle Tennessee on Tuesday night in Murfreesboro, 11-5. Game times this weekend at McKethan Stadium will be at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert 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. All three games of the series between the Gators and Vols will be carried live on GatorVision.
With an 10-8 (.556) league record, UF 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, swept No. 8 South Carolina and won two at Missouri last weekend.
UT is 5-13 (.278) and has captured two of its six series in conference action. The Vols kicked off SEC play by losing two of three at Alabama (L, W, L), defeated Missouri twice (W, W, L), was swept at No. 3 Vanderbilt, was swept by No. 11 South Carolina, won twice at No. 13 Kentucky (L, W, W) and was swept at home by No. 17 Ole Miss last weekend.
Junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (3-5, 4.37) will begin the series and face UT freshman right-hander Aaron Quillen (1-2, 5.52). Crawford has claimed his last two starts against No. 8 South Carolina and Missouri to improve his season ledger to 3-3 in conference activity. The righty has a team-leading 47 strikeouts in 59.2 innings and has worked at least six innings in six of his last eight starts.
Quick Hits About the Gators
· Florida is an even 3-3 in its SEC series this spring and has emerged victorious in its last two series (3-0 sweep of No. 8 South Carolina and 2-1 triumph at Missouri).
· Since a 4-3 defeat in 11 innings to No. 11 Ole Miss on March 29 that dropped their record to 11-16 (.407), the Gators have gone 12-3 (.800) to match its season best by being four games above the .500 plateau at 23-19 (.548).
· After reaching double-digits in hits 10 times in their first 33 games, the Gators have had 10 or more hits in five of their last six games, with a season-high of 18 in the series opener at Missouri.
· Named to the NCBWA Mid-Season Stopper of the Year Watch List, sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (3-1, 1.91) has collected saves in his last six appearances, bringing his season total to 11, which is two shy of the school record shared by Danny Wheeler (1994) & Josh Fogg (1998).
· Magliozzi is tied for second in the SEC in saves with Vanderbilt’s Brian Miller, one behind Mississippi State’s Jonathan Holder and South Carolina’s Tyler Webb.
· UF has played the toughest schedule to date in the nation, as its opponents have a combined record of 1,045-538 (.660).
· Florida is 15-13 (.536) at McKethan Stadium this spring and has taken its last seven home contests.
· Sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) was a team-best 7-for-16 (.438) at Missouri and leads the Orange and Blue in RBI (26) and walks (20).
· Senior first baseman Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) had another productive weekend, going 6-for-15 (.400), and leads UF in with a .382 SEC average.
· Sophomore outfielder Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (.319, 18 RBI) continues to lead the SEC with 16 two-baggers. Two of his four hits during the series with the Tigers were doubles and he was 4-for-14 (.286) in Columbia.
· Sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (.272, 24 RBI) led UF with five RBI at Missouri, none bigger than his fielder’s choice in the 15th inning that brought home freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) with the eventual winning run. Turgeon was 3-for-8 in that outing, setting a career high for at bats (8) and matching his season high of three RBI.
· A total of 22 of UF’s 42 games (.524) this spring has come against ranked teams and the squad’s 12 wins over top-25 is the most in the SEC.
· In addition to Magliozzi (1.91), junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) (2-0) also sports a sub-2.00 ERA at 1.99. Until last Friday night, the left-hander had not surrendered a run in nine-straight appearances.
· The Gators are 9-1 (.900) this season when freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (.277) starts in center field and had won eight in a row until Sunday. He tallied a career-high four RBI in the triumph over USF, with a go-ahead RBI single and his first career triple in the sixth with the bases full.
· Sophomore righty Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (4-2, 2.79) has an SEC-leading 25 appearances and is second on the Gators with 35 strikeouts in 42 innings.
Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 11-4 (.733) against Tennessee, 6-0 (1.000) at McKethan Stadium and 5-4 (.556) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. UF has captured the last four regular-season series after the Vols had reeled off five-straight series wins.
Dating back to 1986, the winner of the opener between the Gators and Vols has gone on to take the regular-season series 24 of 27 times (exceptions: 2000, UF wins last two; 1995, UT wins last two; 1990, UF wins last two). The last extra-inning encounter occurred on April 13, 2002, when Florida used a two-run double in the 10th frame by David Klebonis to seize an 8-5 road win.
2012 Series Recap
Florida took two of three games at Tennessee (3-1, 4-5, 8-1) over the weekend of April 13-15. Nolan Fontana was 6-for-9 (.667) in the series against the Vols, with five walks, two doubles and two runs, while Brian Johnson batted .500 (6-for-12) with six RBI, two doubles and two runs and threw six shutout innings in the finale to secure the series triumph.
In Sunday’s rubber game, the Gators used a four-run first inning and scored in the first four frames to post an 8-1 victory. Johnson tossed six scoreless innings and helped his own cause with a three-run double in the first inning that set the tone for the afternoon. After claiming the series on its last trip to Rocky Top in 2010, it marked the first time since 1998-2000-2002 that the Gators had emerged victorious in consecutive visits to Knoxville. Fontana went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot, Ramjit went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and Preston Tucker chipped in with two hits. Johnson departed after six strong innings in which he scattered six hits, with four strikeouts and a walk.
Holding a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth with the bases full and one out, Tennessee turned a game-ending double play to even the series on Saturday afternoon. Johnson was 3-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs, Tucker became Florida’s all-time leader in doubles with a pair of two-baggers and Magliozzi allowed one runs over a career-high five innings out of the bullpen but was on the hook for the loss.
Fontana was 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and the Gator bullpen tossed four scoreless innings around several jams to lead Florida to a 3-1 series-opening victory over Tennessee on Friday night. Mike Zunino and Fontana each had an RBI double in the fifth inning as the Gators plated two runs to snap a 1-1 tie. Making the first Friday night start of his career, Crawford held the Vols to one run on six hits over five innings to improve to 3-0 in SEC play. Steven Rodriguez registered four strikeouts and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings before Austin Maddox notched his 10th save by pitching the final two frames, with three K and two hits.