The Florida baseball team heads west this weekend to take on Texas A&M (15-7, 1-2 SEC). This is the second SEC series for the Gators and the first conference home game for the Aggies. In their conference opener, Florida took two of three games against Arkansas.
The Gators will be sending freshman sensation Logan Shore (1-1, .68 ERA) to the mound Friday night. Although his record may not show, Shore has been dominant on the hill. In five appearances for Florida the right-hander has struck out 20 while only allowing two earned runs.
The month of March has treated Florida well. The Gators are 9-2 since March 1st, including a win over No. 1 FSU this past Tuesday. Florida took down the Noles in a 3-1 thriller. Florida outfielder Harrison Bader has not wasted many at-bats since his return to the team. Bader is batting .375 since making his first appearance last Sunday.
Bader and the rest of the Gator offense will look to defeat A&M starter Daniel Mengden, who earned Second Team All SEC in 2013. Last season Mengden finished in the top 10 in the SEC in innings pitched, wins, ERA, opponent batting average, and strikeouts. Last time Mengden threw against Florida was in the SEC Tournament where he went the distance, striking out 11 batters.
Texas A&M has won seven of the last eight matchups with the Gators, including a victory over Florida in the 2013 SEC tournament that eliminated the Orange and Blue.
Eric Hanhold will start on the mound for Florida on Saturday while Sunday’s starter is yet to be determined.
First pitch is for Friday nights game is set for 7:35, Steve Russell and Jeff Cardozo will have the call on the Gator IMG Sports Network.