Wednesday April 2, 2014No. 20 Florida Travels To Lexington For Weekend Series At No. 19 Kentucky
After a 5-4 loss in 11 innings to Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night that snapped its four-game winning streak, No. 20 Florida (19-10/6-3 SEC) faces Eastern Division rival No. 19 Kentucky (20-9/4-5 SEC) at Cliff Hagan Stadium this weekend. Game times for the series are 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.
The entire series be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and both Friday & Sunday’s games will be streamed on GatorVision through GatorZone.com with Kentucky’s announce team. The second game of the series will be shown on FSN with Larry Conley and Tom Werme and be carried on Sun Sports throughout the state of Florida. 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.
No. 20 Florida (19-10/6-3 SEC) No. 19 Kentucky (20-9/4-5 SEC)
Friday: Eric Hanhold, So., RHP (3-2, 2.70) A.J. Reed, Jr., LHP (5-1, 2.20)
Saturday: Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (2-1, 1.35) Chandler Shepherd, Jr., RHP (5-1, 3.26)
Sunday: TBA Andrew Nelson, Jr., RHP (1-2, 3.21)
QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS
· Florida returned to the national rankings this week for the first time since Feb. 24 and will play its next seven games against ranked foes: No. 19 Kentucky, No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 South Carolina (USA Today Coaches’ Poll rankings).
· Through three SEC series, the Gators are 6-3 (.667) and tied with Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina atop the league standings.
· UF has claimed 13 of its last 17 contests and boasts a 4-4 (.500) record away from Gainesville (2-4 in true road games, 2-0 at neutral sites).
· The Orange and Blue is 6-2 (.750) against top-25 opponents, including a perfect 4-0 against top-5 competition this spring.
· With an 11-7 victory last Sunday, the Gators posted just their fourth sweep of LSU in school history (1996, 2010, 2011, 2014).
· Four different players chipped in multiple-RBI outings: freshman John Sternagel (3), freshman Peter Alonso (3), junior Mike Fahrman (2) and sophomore Richie Martin (2).
· Florida’s pitching staff compiled a 2.33 ERA over the three games, with 12 strikeouts and four walks, including quality starts from sophomore RHP Eric Hanhold (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R in game one on Saturday) and freshman RHP Logan Shore (8.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R in game two on Saturday).
· The Gator bullpen is 14-3 this season with 12 saves and a 2.49 ERA and has 130 strikeouts in 141 innings.
· Sternagel was the squad’s top hitter with a .333 (3-for-9) clip and established a career best with three RBI in the finale, while Martin went 3-for-11 (.273) and junior OF/RHP Justin Shafer was 3-for-6 (.500) and scored four runs.
· Shafer belted a game-winning homer with two down in the ninth off of 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year Aaron Nola to lift the Gators to a 2-1 triumph in the series opener.
· Freshman LHP Kirby Snead (1-0, 1.80), who had pitched 5.1 innings all season, earned his first collegiate victory on Sunday by tossing 4.2 scoreless innings in which he permitted two singles.
· UF blasted four homers during its series with LSU, increasing its round-tripper total to 10. Junior C Taylor Gushue (.324, 23 RBI) has three.
· The Gators are an unblemished 8-0 when they homer in a contest this year.
· After six innings this year, Florida is 11-1 (.917) when leading, 1-9 (.100) when trailing and 7-0 (1.000) when tied.
· Seventeen of the Gators’ 29 games this season have been decided by 2 runs or less: UF is 7-4 (.636) in 1-run and 4-2 (.667) in 2-run games.
· Florida has provided the fans with free baseball 6 times already and boasts a 4-2 (.667) mark.
· The duo of Martin (SS) and Casey Turgeon (2B) has started all 29 games at their respective positions.
· Nine different pitchers have accounted for Florida’s 19 wins, with Hanhold, junior LHP Bobby Poyner (3-2, 2.35), sophomore RHP Aaron Rhodes (3-2, 2.01) and sophomore LHP Danny Young (3-0, 1.96) tied with 3 victories apiece.
Florida holds a 132-59-1 (.690) advantage in the all-time series, including a 56-32-1 (.635) edge in Lexington. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 10-8 (.556) against Kentucky, 5-4 (.556) in Gainesville and 5-4 (.556) in Lexington.
The Gators have captured 10 of their last 13 series against the Wildcats, including three-game sweeps in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005. UK’s last three-game sweep of Florida occurred on April 24-25, 1993, in Gainesville (5-3, 7-6, 7-4). Florida has notched 2-1 series triumphs in four of the last five seasons (W, L, W in 2009; W, W, L in 2010; W, L, W in 2011; W, W, L in 2012), with Kentucky emerging victorious last March in Gainesville (UF 4-1, UK 11-5, UK 6-2).