The University of Florida baseball team begins practice Friday for its 2014 season which will open February 14th against Maryland at McKethan Stadium.
The Gators will look to improve on their 29-30 finish from a year ago. The Orange and Blue played the toughest schedule in the country as their opponents went 1,854-1,215 (.604) last season. UF was able to extend its NCAA tournament streak to six years tying a school record. This stretch beginning in 2008 matches the program’s longest mark set in 2000-2005.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is entering his seventh year at the helm of the Gators and he says the returning core of the team has improved. The 2014 Gator baseball team returns 18 letter winners and is backed by the nation’s top recruiting class according to Baseball America. O’Sullivan calls the pitching staff “one of the deepest” he’s had in some time. In 2013, Gator pitchers combined for 3.92 ERA.
The 2014 schedule has the potential to be as strong as it was a season ago and O’Sullivan acknowledged that and called it an obstacle to overcome. He says baseball is a different sport and that the game comes with its natural “ups and downs”. He expects the talent to be there.
Gator baseball was ranked number 16 in Collegiate Baseball’s Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I Preseason Poll released this past December.
To hear comments from Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan, click below.