The 23rd ranked Florida baseball team is 5-3 heading into a double round robin series at home this weekend, in which they will play?a total of four games over the next four days.? The Gators will kick off the event with a game Thursday night at 7 against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles and another matchup against Illinois Friday night.? This is the first time since 2006, McKethan Stadium will host a regular season tournament.
Freshman Logan Shore gets the start on the mound for the Gators in the first match up; he’s 1-0 with a sparkling 1.29 ERA so far this year. ?Florida’s offense will be led by junior catcher Taylor Gushue.? Gushue is batting .387 on the season with a?team high 9 RBIs; he comes off a series last weekend against Miami where he was 6 of 12 at the plate with four runs scored.
Gushue is not the only catcher who has wreaked havoc at the plate for the Gators; junior transfer Braden Mattson has also done his fair share of damage with a bat in his hand.? Mattson has played a variety of positions thus far this season, including catcher, right field, first base, and designated hitter.? He’s?reached base on a hit in his last seven games while batting a team high .429.? Florida?s lead off man Richie Martin also hopes to continue his success Thursday evening as he looks to extend his current 12 game hit streak, dating back to last season.
In the bullpen for the Gators, four different pitchers have earned a save this season.? Junior Ryan Harris has pitched 4.2 innings of relief this year, not allowing a single run scored during his time on the mound.
For Florida Gulf Coast, undefeated right hander?Mike Murray gets the start on the hill. Murray?is 1-0 and has 13 strikeouts.? In 2013, Murray was unanimously named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen team after going 5-1 with 2.86 ERA in 13 starts.
The last time these two teams met; Florida won 5-3, with lefty?Bobby Poyner earning the victory for the Gators.
As always, you can catch all the action right here on ESPN 850 WRUF starting with pregame coverage at 6:55 PM with first pitch set for 7 o’clock.