The Florida Gator baseball team (23-7, 5-4 SEC) is set to travel to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers (20-10, 6-3 SEC) in a weekend series beginning today.
Florida is coming off of a tough 8-3 loss to the Florida State Seminoles in Jacksonville on Tuesday night. The Gators were outmatched throughout much of the game, and head coach Kevin O’Sullivan acknowledged that.
“We just got beat. Simple as that. I think the mental mistakes were things we’ve got to get cleaned up, and obviously our bullpen,” O’Sullivan said. “We’ve got to find some guys we can count on.”
The Gators suffered more than just a loss on the field, when freshman catcher Mike Rivera was hit by a back swing. He left the game, but he is fine and will play against Missouri.
The Gators have struggled in conference play, and shortstop Richie Martin knows the team has to bounce back quickly from the loss if they want to bounce back from a slow start in conference play.
“Just keep it (the loss) in our memories but don’t linger on it too long. We’ve got to drop it and get read for SEC this weekend.”
In their last conference road series, the Gators dropped two of three games to the Ole Miss Rebels, picking up their only win in the series finale.
The Gators will look to get off to a hot start behind the right arm of sophomore Logan Shore (4-2, 1.89 ERA), who will take the mound for the Gators in Game One. Shore pitched a complete game for the Gators in his last start against Alabama.
Missouri has been quite a surprise so far this season as many predicted the Tigers to finish last in the SEC. Pitching has been the strength of the team all year long.
AJ Puk and Dane Dunning are Florida’s two other scheduled starters in the series. Weather could be a factor on Friday, as temperatures are expected to be in the 30’s at game time.
You can hear Friday’s game live on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 6:55 pm.
For sound from the coach and players, click below.