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Thursday April 24, 2014No. 12 Florida Baseball Tangles With Missouri In SEC East Matchup

Gainesville, Fla.

After dropping a pair of mid-week games, No. 12 Florida (27-15/12-6 SEC) hosts Missouri (19-21/6-12 SEC) in a weekend series at McKethan Stadium. The Gators enter the weekend tied for first in the league with No. 18 Alabama. Game times this weekend are 7 p.m. on Friday, 12 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

 

The entire series can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert. Saturday’s game will be carried on FOX Sports Florida (Cox Communications Channel 1070 HD and Channel 70 in Gainesville) with Larry Conley and Dave Neal and streamed on ESPN3, while the action on Friday and Sunday will be streamed on GatorVision. 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

                                Missouri (19-21/6-12 SEC)                               No. 12 Florida (27-15/12-6 SEC)

Friday:                    Brett Graves, Jr., RHP (3-2, 2.66)                     Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (4-2, 1.83)

Saturday:               Eric Anderson, RSr., RHP (2-2, 3.35)               Aaron Rhodes, So., RHP (4-2, 2.51)               

Sunday:                 John Miles, Jr., RHP (2-5, 5.04)                        TBA

 

QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS

·         Florida (12-6 SEC) will be playing its seventh of the 10 league series. The Gators are 8-1 (.889) at home and 4-5 (.444) on the road in SEC play.

·         The Gators are tied atop the standings with Alabama (28-13/12-6 SEC) and lead South Carolina (32-10/10-8 SEC) by two games in the East.

·         UF alternates home and road series over the final four weekends (host Missouri, at Alabama, host Vanderbilt, at Tennessee).

·         After falling Tuesday & Wednesday, Florida has dropped consecutive games for the fifth time this year but has not lost three in a row in 2014.

·         Florida A&M received a pair of two-run homers and sophomore outfielder Harrison Bader’s 3-for-4 night was not enough to propel the Florida offense to victory on Wednesday night. Bader hit a solo shot in the eighth and drove in two runs.

·         The Gators struggled to get anything going against Jacksonville's pitching staff , totaling one run on four hits. UF starter Karsten Whitson fired five shutout innings and struck out a season-best five batters, but a three-run homer for JU in the seventh was the Gators’ downfall.

·         Junior first baseman/outfielder Zack Powers (.274, 8 RBI) blasted his second home run of the season for the Gators’ lone run of the game. He hit his first triple of the season against Florida A&M and boasts a team-high six-game hitting streak in which he is 7-for-17 (.412) with three RBI.

·         Last weekend, the Gators posted their first sweep of SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia since 2010 by scores of 3-2, 8-1 and 10-3 at McKethan Stadium.

·         The Gators are 18-8 (.692) at home this year and are 4-2 (.667) in their league series.

·         UF is rated No. 1 in both the official RPI from the NCAA and Strength of Schedule compiled by Warren Nolan.

·         Florida is 11-6 (.647) in one-run games and is 5-2 (.714) in extra innings this year after going 7-10 (.412) and 2-4 (.333), respectively, in ‘13.

·         All three Gator starting pitchers last weekend, freshman RHP Logan Shore (4-2, 1.83), sophomore RHP Aaron Rhodes (4-2, 2.51) and sophomore LHP Danny Young (5-0, 1.80), collected victories, while the pitching corps registered a 2.00 ERA (6 runs in 27 innings), with 25 strikeouts and four walks.

·         Florida’s bullpen kept the Bulldogs off of the scoreboard in 11.2 innings of work. The relievers struck out 14 and walked zero UGA batters.

·         Junior LHP Bobby Poyner (3-3, 3.92) totaled a career-high seven strikeouts over four shutout frames in game one of the series. He picked up his third save of the campaign and has 35 strikeouts in 39.0 innings this season.

·         Junior catcher Taylor Gushue (.329, 35 RBI) went 4-for-9 (.444) in the series with the Bulldogs, while Bader (.280, 11 RBI) went 4-for-10 (.400) with a team-high five RBI. Gushue leads Florida's offense in the "Triple Crown" categories, batting average (.329), RBI (35) and homers (4) but has his career-long 14-game hitting streak halted on Tuesday night.

·         After 6 innings this year, Florida is 17-2 (.895) when leading, 2-12 (.143) when trailing and 8-1 (.889) when tied

 

SERIES NUGGETS

Florida has taken seven of its nine previous encounters with Missouri, but the teams will be meeting for the first time in Gainesville as members of the SEC.

 

The Gators registered a 7-3 victory in the NCAA South Regional hosted in Coral Gables, Fla., on May 22, 1981, and pulled out a

6-5 decision in a mid-week game in Gainesville on March 1, 1984. The teams played a weekend series at McKethan Stadium over the weekend of Feb. 28-March 1, 1992, when Joe Arnold’s club posted a sweep, 10-2, 8-3 and 4-3 in 11 innings.

 

The Tigers ended the five-game slide to the Orange and Blue with a 14-5 win during the 2006 campaign in a weekend tourney that was held in Gainesville along with Ohio State and Wake Forest. Florida captured two of the three meetings in Columbia last April (8-6, 4-3 (15), 2-8).

 

2013 SERIES RECAP

The Gators took the first two games in Columbia, 8-6 and 4-3 in 15 innings, to raise their winning streak to a season-high eight games, before the Tigers avoided the sweep with an 8-2 triumph. Taylor Gushue hit .438 (7-for-16) over the three games, while Vickash Ramjit went 6-for-15 (.400). Gushue was a bright spot in Florida’s setback on Sunday, as he went 3-for-4 with a solo homer.

 

The Gators outlasted the Tigers by a 4-3 count in 15 innings to clinch the series on Saturday. It was UF’s first extra-inning win of the season and the team’s bullpen threw 12.2 scoreless innings. Casey Turgeon had a fi elder’s choice that brought home Harrison Bader with the eventual winning run as the Gators capped a comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Turgeon was 3-for-8 and drove in three of the

Gators’ four runs, while Bader, Justin Shafer and Ramjit chipped in with two hits apiece. Bobby Poyner picked up the win and Johnny Magliozzi stranded runners on second and third base by ending the game on a grounder.

 

Florida banged out a season-high 18 hits and overcame a 4-1 Tiger advantage to emerge victorious in the series opener, 8-6. Jonathon Crawford won his second-consecutive start by working 5.2 innings and was supported by three hits apiece from Gushue, Richie Martin, Ramjit and Josh Tobias. A three-run fifth inning moved the Orange and Blue in front and featured a solo shot by Turgeon that was the Gators’ first round-tripper since March 31 against Ole Miss. Florida batted a scorching 10-for-17 (.588) with two outs and notched six two-out RBI in the contest.

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