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Junior shortstop Richie Martin and the Gators host LSU this weekend.

Thursday March 27, 2014Florida Welcomes No. 4 LSU To McKethan Stadium For Weekend Series

Gainesville, Fla.

Junior shortstop Richie Martin and the Gators host LSU this weekend.

Following their 4-1 victory over No. 1 Florida State in Jacksonville on Tuesday night, the Gators (16-9/3-3 SEC) return to SEC action by hosting No. 4 LSU (20-5-1/3-2-1 SEC) for three games this weekend at McKethan Stadium.

 

The entire series will be available through GatorZone.com and on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Friday’s game will be carried on CSS/Cox Sports with Rusty Ensor and Bernie Guenther at 7:30 p.m., while Saturday’s game will be on the CBS Sports Network with Paul Byrd and Joe Castellano at 1 p.m. Sunday’s finale at 1 p.m. will be available on GatorVision through GatorZone.com. 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 (16-9/3-3 SEC)                       No. 4 LSU (20-5-1/3-2-1 SEC)

Friday:                    Eric Hanhold, So., RHP (3-2, 3.18) Aaron Nola, Jr., RHP (5-0, 0.22)

Saturday:               Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (1-1, 1.15)    Jared Poche’, Fr., LHP (5-1, 1.91)

Sunday:                 TBA                                                        TBA

 

QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS

·         Florida captured last Friday’s opener at Texas A&M, 5-3, in 11 innings, but then dropped a pair of one-run contests, 5-4 on Saturday and 4-3 in 11 innings on Sunday. LSU claimed the first two meetings with Georgia, 4-0 and 2-1, before tying the Bulldogs, 2-2, in 13 innings in the finale.

·         Through two SEC series, the Gators are 3-3 (.500) and among the five teams tied for the top spot in the congested Eastern Division.

·         With the triumph over the Seminoles, UF is now 3-2 (.600) this season against ranked opponents. LSU is No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.

·         Sophomore RHP Eric Hanhold (3-2, 3.18) will draw the first series-opening start of his career on Friday against RHP Aaron Nola (5-0, 0.22).

·         Freshman RHP Logan Shore (1-1, 1.15), who has allowed only four earned runs in a team-high 31.1 innings, will get the ball on Saturday.

·         During the Gators' second win over No. 1 Florida State this year on Tuesday, freshman 3B John Sternagel notched his first two collegiate RBI.

·         Junior C Taylor Gushue (.337, 18 RBI) was a sizzling .636 (7-for-11) in College Station, while junior 3B Josh Tobias (.262) was 5-for-11 (.455).

·         Gushue is tied for second on the squad with nine multiple-hit games and is also second with four multi-RBI games.

·         The Gators batted .314 (37-for-118) in the series at Texas A&M, with three double-digit hit totals, and their bullpen permitted just one run in 16 innings for a 0.56 ERA.

·         The lone Texan on Florida's roster, junior Braden Mattson (.333, 16 RBI), went 4-for-13 (.308) at TAMU and provided the go-ahead RBI single                 in the 11th inning on Friday night. Mattson started the scoring against FSU with a bases-loaded single in the first inning in Jacksonville.

·         Junior RHP Ryan Harris (1-0, 1.02) collected his team-leading fourth save in Tuesday’s win over No. 1 FSU and has played a role in three of the Gators’ four shutouts this season.

·         Sophomore RHP Aaron Rhodes (2-1, 1.93) was quite busy last week, going 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a save in 3 appearances spanning 10 innings. He posted career-highs in innings pitched (6.0) and strikeouts (6) in the finale with the Aggies but was the tough-luck loser.

·         On the season, Gator relievers are 12-2 with 11 saves and a 2.56 ERA in 123 innings, with 110 K and 32 BB.            

·         After six innings this year, Florida is 9-0 (1.000) when leading, 1-9 (.100) when trailing and 6-0 (1.000) when tied.

·         Fifteen of the Gators’ 25 games this season have been decided by two runs or less: UF is 6-3 (.667) in 1-run affairs and 4-2 (.667) in 2-run games.

·         Florida has provided the fans with free baseball five times already and boasts a 4-1 (.800) mark.

·         UF has 46 extra-bases hits this season - 36 doubles, 6 homers and 4 triples - and is 16-for-28 (.571) on stolen-base opportunities.

·         The duo of sophomore Richie Martin (SS) and Casey Turgeon (2B) has started all 25 games at their respective positions.

·         Eight different pitchers have accounted for Florida’s 16 wins, with Hanhold, junior LHP Bobby Poyner (3-2, 2.57) and sophomore LHP Danny Young (3-0, 2.08) tied with 3 victories apiece.

 

SERIES NUGGETS

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 10-9 (.526) against LSU: 6-3 (.667) in Gainesville, 4-5 (.444) in Baton Rouge and 0-1 (.000) at the SEC Tournament. Florida has claimed five of the last eight regular-season series between the teams, emerging victorious in 2006, 2007 and 2008 by 2-1 margins and in 2010 and 2011 with sweeps. LSU swept the Gators in Baton Rouge last May after taking two of the three games at McKethan Stadium in 2012.

 

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