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Tuesday March 11, 2014Florida Baseball Meets Illinois State Wednesday Night Before Starting SEC Action

Gainesville, Fla.

Riding a season-high four-game winning streak, Florida (10-6) will meet Illinois State (8-4) from the Missouri Valley Conference on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium before beginning its 30-game SEC schedule this weekend at home against Arkansas (8-5).

 

The game will be available on GatorVision through GatorZone.com at 7 p.m. and on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel. 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

·         The Gators are coming off of a perfect 4-0 week by defeating Southern Miss, 4-2, in Pensacola last Tuesday night before sweeping a three-game series from UConn in which every contest went to extra innings.

·         UF edged the Huskies, 1-0 (11), on Friday, 2-1 (10), on Saturday and 6-5 (10) on Sunday, marking the first time in available records that an entire series went extras.

·         The Gators’ pitching staff compiled a 1.45 ERA over the set with UConn, surrendering 5 earned runs in 31 innings of work, to go along with 27 strikeouts.

·         Junior second baseman Casey Turgeon (.300, 8 RBI) delivered walk-off singles both Friday in the 11th inning and Sunday in the 10th inning to       down the Huskies and batted a team-best .545 (6-for-11) with 5 walks.

·         Junior third baseman Josh Tobias (.250) was 5-for-11 (.455) over the weekend, highlighted by a leadoff triple in the 10th inning of the finale, and he scored the game-winning run.

·         Junior Braden Mattson (.280) is 8-for-16 (.500) this year with runners in scoring position and 6 of his 9 RBI have come with two outs.

·         Junior left-hander Bobby Poyner (3-2, 2.76) picked up wins in relief during the final two games against the Huskies (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K).

·         UF’s bullpen registered a 1.10 ERA versus the Huskies, giving up two runs in 16.1 innings, with 13 K. On the season, Gator relievers are 8-1 with 6 saves and a 2.67 ERA in 77.2 innings, with 62 K and 22 BB.

·         Junior catcher Taylor Gushue (.293, 13 RBI) tied Sunday’s game at 5-5 with a solo homer with one down in the ninth. He has both of UF’s round-trippers this season (2/18 vs. UCF, 3/9 vs. UConn).

·         Freshman RHP Logan Shore (0-1, 0.45) hurled a career-high seven scoreless innings and allowed only a pair of singles in the opener with the Huskies, with four strikeouts and a walk. Over 20 innings to begin his career, he has permitted one earned run.

·         Freshman LHP A.J. Puk (1-1, 3.75) made his second start in game two with UConn and struck out seven batters in 4.1 innings, both career highs. The seven K matched a season-high for a Gator starting pitcher (Shore vs. FGCU on Feb. 27).

·         Freshman LHP Kirby Snead (0-0, 2.25) has made 9 appearances and has 5 strikeouts in 4 innings pitched. Foes are 1-for-9 (.111) with runners on base against him.

·         UF has 27 extra-bases hits this season - 22 doubles, 3 triples and 2 homers - and is 8-for-12 (.667) on stolen-base opportunities.

·         After 6 innings in 2014, Florida is 4-0 when leading, 5-0 when tied and 1-6 when trailing.

·         The trio of Martin (SS), freshman Buddy Reed (CF) and Turgeon (2B) have started all 16 games at their respective positions.

 

SERIES NUGGETS

Florida and Illinois State have met just twice on the diamond, when the Gators took both games of a mid-week series in 2010 by scores of 8-2 and 8-0.

 

Under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, that year marked the first of three-straight trips to the NCAA College World Series, as UF claimed its first SEC title since 2005 and swept through both the Regional and Super Regional rounds held at McKethan Stadium to advance to Omaha.

 

LAST MEETING BETWEEN GATORS & REDBIRDS

Freshman Austin Maddox (4-for-5) drove in a career-high six runs, highlighted by his first grand slam, while sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (1-1) earned his first win of the campaign with 5.1 strong innings in which he registered a season-high six strikeouts and gave up one hit in an 8-0 blanking of Illinois State on March 10, 2010.

 

The trio of freshman Steven Rodriguez, freshman Michael Heller and sophomore Justin Poovey permitted one hit over the final 3.2 innings to nail down the Gators’ first shutout since a 12-0 triumph over Eastern Michigan on Feb. 24, 2009.

 

MORALES GETS THE NOD

Freshman right-hander Brett Morales (0-1, 11.74) will be making his third start of the season for the Gators against an Illinois State pitcher to be announced since the Redbirds are playing Tuesday afternoon against Bowling Green.

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