After finishing 4-0 this past week, the Florida baseball team looks to continue its success tonight as they take on the Illinois State Redbirds from the Missouri Valley Conference.? Illinois State is 8-4 on the season including wins against Arkansas State, Butler, and a victory last night against Bowling Green.
The Redbirds are the second team from the state of Illinois to travel to Gainesville in the last two weeks, following Illinois, who defeated Florida twice during their time in the Sunshine State.
The Gators are coming off a competitive three game series against Connecticut, in which each of the weekend?s games went into extra innings.? Florida?s pitching staff surrendered just five runs in 31 innings of work alongside 27 strikeouts.? Right-handed freshman Brett Morales will be the starter for the Gators Wednesday night, hoping for a good performance after allowing?11 runs to score on just 7.2 innings pitched in three previous starting assignments.
Tonight?s game will be a test for multiple Gators who have made great strides at the plate in the past few outings. Junior second baseman Casey Turgeon came into his own this past week, delivering two walk-off hits on Friday and Sunday. He reached base 11 times this weekend, improving his season batting average to .300.
After starting the season 0 for 14, third baseman?Josh Tobias is beginning to see progress after getting 9 hits in his last 22 plate appearances.? And freshman outfielder?Buddy Reed earned his first multi-hit game of his collegiate career on Saturday when he went 2 for 4 while scoring the game?winning run for the Gators as well.
Last time Florida faced Illinois State was in 2010, the only series between the schools, and Florida won?8-2 and 8-0.? You can hear tonight’s game on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 6:55pm as?Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel?call the action.