Thursday February 20, 2014No. 20 Florida Baseball Makes First Road Trip Of 2014 To No. 17 Miami
Following a stretch of five games in six days at McKethan Stadium to kick off the 2014 campaign, the No. 20 Gators (4-1) head to Coral Gables for a weekend series with Sunshine State rival No. 17 Miami (2-2). In midweek action, Florida downed UCF on Tuesday (5-1) and rallied to defeat North Florida on Wednesday (8-7), while the Hurricanes were on the short end against Florida Atlantic, 5-2, on Wednesday.
Junior left-hander Bobby Poyner (1-0, 0.00) will face Hurricane junior left-hander Chris Diaz (1-0, 1.80) in Friday’s opener at 7 p.m. Freshman righty Brett Morales (0-1, 13.50) will oppose Miami redshirt junior southpaw Bryan Radziewski (0-1, 0.00) in game two of the series at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and redshirt junior righty Karsten Whitson (0-0, 13.50) will meet UM redshirt sophomore southpaw Andrew Suarez (1-0, 1.80) in Sunday’s finale at 1 p.m.
All three games of the weekend series will be available on ESPN3 and through GatorZone.com and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Live stats for each game 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.
QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS
· Florida has taken 13 of its last 14 meetings against Miami, including a sweep in its most recent visit to Alex Rodriguez Park from March 2-4, 2012 (7-5, 13-5, 8-5).
· The Gators have claimed their last four regular-season series versus the Hurricanes - 2010 (2-1), 2011 (3-0), 2012 (3-0), 2013 (2-1) – since falling three times at McKethan Stadium from Feb. 27-March 1, 2009.
· The Orange and Blue will be facing an ACC team for the second weekend in a row after taking two of three games from Maryland.
· Sophomore shortstop Richie Martin leads the Gators with a .389 (7-for-18) batting average, 7 runs, 3 doubles and 2 stolen bases, while junior catcher Taylor Gushue (.316) has team-highs in RBI (7) and sacrifice flies (3).
· UF has used three freshmen starting pitchers its first five games (RHP Brett Morales, 2/15 vs. Maryland; RHP Logan Shore, 2/18 vs. UCF; RHP Dane Dunning, 2/19 vs. North Florida).
· The Gators used 10 different newcomers on the first weekend of action, eight freshmen and two junior college transfers. Freshmen Ryan Larson (LF) and Buddy Reed (CF) each started all three contests against the Terps, freshmen Peter Alonso (DH/3B) and A.J. Puk (DH) started two games apiece and junior Braden Mattson started in right field in game three. Morales drew the starting assignment on Saturday and fellow rookies Dunning, Puk and Kirby Snead saw action out of the bullpen.
· Led by a solid 5.1-inning start by junior left-hander Bobby Poyner, who registered a career-high five strikeouts and yielded three hits, UF posted its fi rst shutout in a season opener since 2006 with a 4-0 blanking of Maryland. Harris (1.2 IP) and sophomore southpaw Danny Young (2.0 IP) combined on the three-hitter.
· The Gators used a season-high eight pitchers to beat North Florida, including the collegiate debut of freshman Shaun Anderson, who pocketed the save with a scoreless ninth. Junior right-hander Ryan Harris (1-0, 0.00) earned his first win of the season, the eighth of his career.
· Junior Casey Turgeon delivered a season-best 3-for-5 performance versus the Ospreys. He provided the game-winning hit with a single in the eighth inning that snapped a 7-7 stalemate and had a run-scoring single during the Gators’ four-run second inning.
Miami holds a 124-110-1 (.530) advantage in the all-time series and Hurricanes lead the Gators by a 76-41 (.650) margin at home. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan has a 17-7 (.708) record against Miami, 11-4 (.733) in Gainesville and 6-3 (.667) in Coral Gables. The Gators have taken 16 of the past 18 meetings and their 11-game winning streak in the series from March 7, 2010-March 1, 2013, is a school record.