The Florida baseball team?(11-6) is looking to continue its winning streak as the team kicks off its 30-game SEC schedule with a three-game series against Arkansas (8-5) this weekend at home.
The Gators’ bats came alive Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium, notching their fifth consecutive win by downing?Illinois State, 13-5. Florida led Illinois State the entire night, but the Redbirds threatened the Gators in the eighth inning, plating four in what they believed would be a comeback rally. The Gators responded immediately after with seven runs of their own, including a grand slam for junior Casey Turgeon, the first of his collegiate career.
Wins such as this one have allowed the team to gain momentum, which sophomore Richie Martin says will be important for the series against the Razorbacks.
“We’re in a great position. We’re coming off five games in a row and we have a lot of confidence right now. I think everything is starting to gel together. I think the team’s chemistry has always been great, but just to get that sweep last weekend and the big win against Illinois State…that’s just really good to get our confidence going into this weekend,” said Martin.
The Razorbacks and Gators haven’t seen each other since the 2012 season, when Arkansas took two of three games. However, Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn says this should be an interesting series.
“They’re very well-coached. Coach (O’Sullivan) and his staff are outstanding. They do have some young guys pitching for them…they’re awfully talented. It looks like he’s starting some younger guys over some older guys and using the older guys out of the (bull)pen…It just seems like games are tight and it’s nice to have some experience at the end,” said Van Horn.
Tonight, the Gators will send out freshman Logan Shore against Arkansas’s junior Jalen Beeks. Saturday night, it’ll be a sophomore showdown as Florida starts Eric Hanhold opposite Trey Killian. Sunday, freshman A.J. Puk will take on junior Chris Oliver and the Razorbacks.
First pitch is at 7 p.m., but you can hear live coverage on Country 103.7 the Gator starting at 6:55.
For audio clips, click the links below:
Gators Sophomore Shortstop Richie Martin
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn