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Freshman Logan Shore is pitching well as the Gators head into SEC play.

Thursday March 13, 2014Florida Baseball Starts SEC Play Against Western Division Rival Arkansas

Gainesville, Fla.

Freshman Logan Shore is pitching well as the Gators head into SEC play.

Boasting a five-game winning streak after a 13-5 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday, Florida (11-6) will begin its 30-game SEC schedule this weekend at home against Arkansas (8-5). The teams have not met since the 2012 season, when the Hogs claimed two of the three meetings.

 

The entire series will be available on GatorVision through GatorZone.com and on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Friday’s game will be carried on Sun Sports with Nick Belmonte and Larry Vettel at 7 p.m., while the final two games will be on Fox Sports Florida with Belmonte and Vettel (Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.). 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.

 

PITCHING PROBABLES

                                Florida (11-6)                                       Arkansas (8-5)

Friday:                    Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (0-1, 0.45)    Jalen Beeks, Jr., LHP (3-1, 0.68)

Saturday:               Eric Hanhold, So., RHP (2-1, 2.63) Trey Killian, So., RHP (0-2, 4.66)

Sunday:                 A.J. Puk, Fr., LHP (1-1, 3.75)             Chris Oliver, Jr., RHP (1-2, 2.45)

 

QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS

·         The Gators notched their fifth-straight triumph on Wednesday night by downing Illinois State, 13-5. UF registered season highs in runs (13), hits (12) and home runs (2) and broke open a 6-5 game with a seven-run, eighth-inning outburst.

·         Since splitting its first 10 games, Florida has claimed 6 of its last 7 outings. During the squad’s five-game winning streak, the Gators are hitting .271 (46-for-170), have a registered a 2.02 ERA (11 ER in 49 innings) and sport a fielding percentage of .973 (6 errors).

·         Friday night’s Gator starter, freshman RHP Logan Shore (0-1, 0.45) hurled a career-high 7.0 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.

·         Sophomore RHP Eric Hanhold (2-1, 2.63) will make his first start of the campaign on Saturday night after 10 relief appearances. He was 0-3 in eight SEC games last year, including four starts (Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Georgia).

·         Sunday’s probable UF starter, 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).

·         UF edged UConn, 1-0 (11), on Friday, 2-1 (10), on Saturday and 6-5 (10) on Sunday last weekend, 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, surrendering five earned runs in 31 innings of work, to go along with 27 strikeouts.

·         Junior second baseman Casey Turgeon (.297, 12 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 five walks. He belted his first career grand slam on Wednesday night.

·         Since starting the year 0-for-14, junior third baseman Josh Tobias is 10-for-25 (400) to raise his average on the year to .256.

·         Junior Braden Mattson (.296) is 9-for-18 (.500) this year with runners in scoring position and 8 of his 11 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 9-1 with 6 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 82.1 innings, with 68 K and 25 BB.

·         Junior catcher Taylor Gushue (.306, 15 RBI) tied Sunday’s game at 5-5 with a solo homer with one down in the ninth. He has half of UF’s round-trippers this season (2/18 vs. UCF, 3/9 vs. UConn).

·         Freshman LHP Kirby Snead (0-0, 4.50) has made 10 appearances and has 5 strikeouts in 4 IP. Foes are 2-for-10 (.200) with runners on base.

·         UF has 32 extra-bases hits this season - 25 doubles, 4 homers and 3 triples - and is 11-for-16 (.688) on stolen-base opportunities.

·          The trio of sophomore Richie Martin (SS), freshman Buddy Reed (CF) and Turgeon (2B) have started all 17 games at their respective position

 

SERIES NUGGETS

Florida and Arkansas have met 50 times on the diamond, with the Hogs holding a 26-24 edge over the Gators. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 6-12 (.333) against Arkansas, 4-5 (.444) in Gainesville, 1-5 (.167) in Fayetteville and 1-2 (.333) at the SEC Tournament.

 

SHORE GETS THE NOD IN SEC LID-LIFTER

Freshman right-hander Logan Shore (0-1, 0.45) will be making his fifth appearance and fourth start of the season for the Gators and will oppose Razorbacks’ junior left-hander Jalen Beeks (3-1, 0.68) in Friday’s opener. Shore has 16 strikeouts and allowed two walks over 20 innings to begin his collegiate career, while limiting opponents to a .188 batting average. He did not receive a decision in his last outing, 7.0 shutout innings against UConn last Friday.

 

HANHOLD FOR GAME TWO

In a matchup of sophomore right-handers, Eric Hanhold (2-1, 2.63) will meet UA’s Trey Killian (0-2, 4.66) on Saturday night. In his 10 appearances this season, all out of the bullpen, Hanhold has 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings. Left-handers are batting .188 (3-for-16) against him, with right-handers hitting .194 (6-for-31). With runners on base, foes are 1-for-19 (.053).

 

ANOTHER FRESHMAN CLOSES THE WEEKEND WITH UA

The final game of the series will pit Gator freshman left-hander A.J. Puk (1-1, 3.75) against Arkansas junior righty Chris Oliver (1-2, 2.45) on Sunday afternoon. Puk will be making his third-consecutive weekend start and has 15 strikeouts in 12 innings of work. The southpaw posted career highs in innings pitched (4.1) and punchouts (7) last Saturday versus UConn but was not involved in the decision.

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