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Tuesday Sports Update (6/9)

By on June 9th, 2015

The College World Series in baseball is set; NBA Finals resume, Stanley Cup playoff results, MLB Draft continues and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The field is set for this year’s College World Series in baseball.   Florida will play Miami at 8pm on Saturday.   Other teams in the field are defending champion Vanderbilt, LSU, Arkansas, Cal State Fullerton, TCU and Virginia.

** The MLB Draft continues today after the opening round took place yesterday.   Florida shortstop Richie Martin is taken in the first round with the 20th pick by Oakland.   And Kyle Tucker, a Florida signee and brother of former Gator Preston Tucker, is taken with the fifth pick by Houston.

** In baseball yesterday, San Diego downs Atlanta 5-3 and Toronto rips Miami 11-3.   Tampa Bay starts a series with the LA Angels tonight.

** The NBA Finals resume tonight as Cleveland hosts Golden State with the series tied 1-1.

** The Tampa Bay Lightning beat Chicago 3-2 to go up 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals.   Game 4 will be in Chicago.

** Former Gator Brandon Spikes is released by the New England Patriots after it was learned he is being investigated in a possible hit and run incident.

** The Gator men’s basketball team will get forward Justin Leon, who had previously signed with coach Mike White at Louisiana Tech.

** And sweeping changes were approved for both the men’s and women’s game in college basketball.   On the men’s side, the shot clock goes from 35 to 30 seconds and the arc underneath the basket will be extended out another foot from three to four feet.   The women will now play four 1o minute quarters instead of two 20 minute halves.

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Monday Sports Update (6/8)

By on June 8th, 2015

The NBA Finals are even, the Stanley Cup playoffs are even, College World Series field taking shape, the MLB Draft starts and baseball results and more in our Monday Sports Update…

** The NBA Finals are even at 1-1 after Cleveland downs Golden State 95-93 in overtime Sunday.   The series shifts to Cleveland for Game 3.

** Game 3 in the Stanley Cup Finals tonight as Chicago hosts Tampa Bay with the series tied 1-1.

** The MLB Draft starts tonight and runs through Wednesday.   Several current Gator players and some signees are expected to go high in the draft.

** The College World Series field is now up to five teams; Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Virginia and Miami with three other spots to be determined by play today.

** In MLB results Sunday, Miami downs Colorado 3-2; Pittsburgh blanks Atlanta 3-0 and Tampa Bay downs Seattle 3-1.  Today, Miami is at Toronto and San Diego visits Atlanta while the Rays are off.

** Stan Wawrinka wins the French Open men’s singles title by beating number one player Novak Djokovic.

** Martin Truex Jr. wins the NASCAR race in Pennsylvania on Sunday for his first win in two years.

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Video Recap: FSU vs Florida Super Regional Game 2

By on June 7th, 2015

Florida Baseball Postgame video vs FSU, June 6, 2015

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Florida Baseball on to Omaha for the Fourth Time in Six Years

By on June 7th, 2015

omaha

“We ran into a buzz saw.” -Florida State head coach Mike Martin on losing to UF.

Well that buzz saw is the University of Florida baseball team and it is headed to the College World Series for the first time since 2012 after beating FSU 11-4 Sunday to win the Gainesville Super Regional.  The Gators defeated the Seminoles by a combined 24 to 9 score this weekend.

Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan has this to say about moving on.

“I’m pleased with where we are at. It was just a great overall effort by our guys, especially when we answered back after we fell behind in the first inning. We are looking forward to getting back out to Omaha.”

The Gators fell behind Saturday afternoon in the first inning of game two 2-0 after committing two costly errors. J.J. Schwarz brought the Gators right back in the second inning with a stadium clearing bomb to left center. Florida scored three runs in innings two and three to take a lead it would never give up.

Florida hit four homers in the game; two from Schwarz, one from left fielder Harrison Bader, and one from Richie Martin. The Gators are outscoring opponents 83-18 in the team’s last nine games.

On the mound for Florida was A.J. Puk who entered Saturday’s game with 48 strikeouts in his previous five starts. Puk was decent in his outing, allowing three earned runs in four innings of work. Bobby Poyner was the real work horse on the mound, dealing five scoreless in route to his fifth victory.

Poyner says his team will be ready for Omaha.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I know our team’s excited. We’ve been talking about it all year, the ultimate goal of winning a national championship, and this is one of the major steps. Everybody’s very excited and ready to go.”

The Gators will look to extend it’s win streak to 10 when they take on Miami in Omaha this Saturday.

Sound from the game

-Kevin O’Sullivan

 

 

-Bobby Poyner

-Harrison Bader

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Florida Baseball Takes Down FSU; One Win Away From Omaha

By on June 6th, 2015

The Florida baseball team is 27 outs away from returning to the College World Series and Omaha, Nebraska. In the words of FSU head coach Mike Martin, Friday night’s edition of Florida vs. Florida State was “an old fashioned switching.”  The Gators knocked off the Noles for the second time this year at McKethan Stadium by a final of 13-5. UF improved to 8 and 3 at home against Florida State since last time these two met in a Super Regional back in 2005.

Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan said the team is playing really well.

“I thought that from an offensive standpoint, we stayed within ourselves and had a really good approach against a really good pitcher. Obviously, scoring four in the first loosened us up a little bit. I thought we had good at bats the entire night. I thought Logan Shore was really good on the mound.”

Florida came out of the gates early dropping four runs in the first inning. Offensively the Gators had all nine starters reach base including a three run, two RBI, and one home-run game from J.J. Schwarz.

With the lead Florida was able to exercise the bench allowing 13 different players to get an at-bat. In all nine different Gator ball players made it across home plate. The high scoring fueled the 10th largest crowd at McKethan Stadium in the history of the park.

photo (1)

Kevin O’Sullivan says his team is focused and ready to keep this eight game win streak alive.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of jumping around; I think they handled it great. I was impressed with how they were looking at me in the dugout after the game. We’ve talked about it the whole week about what’s at stake here.”

Florida ace Logan Shore dealt an impressive 5.2 innings allowing no runs to score. In four games during this NCAA Tournament UF’s starting pitchers have allowed just one run.  A combined 12 pitchers between both teams saw action on the mound.

Both teams had 11 hits in the game but it was the starting pitching and four errors from FSU that made the difference. In two games at McKethan Stadium so far in 2015 the Seminoles have recorded nine errors. As a team they have 91 errors on the season.

A.J. Puk will get the call for Florida Saturday in hopes of closing things out against the Seminoles.  Puk has 48 strikeouts in his last five appearances. He will match up against Florida State’s Mike Compton. The Gators have outscored opponents 72-14 since losing to Arkansas in the team’s first game of the 2015 SEC Tournament. First pitch Saturday is at 5 with the game live on Country 103-7 The Gator.

Sound from Friday’s game

-Logan Shore 1

-Logan Shore 2

-J.J. Schwarz

-Kevin O’Sullivan

-Kevin O’Sullivan

-Kevin O’Sullivan

-Kevin O’Sullivan

-Kevin O’Sullivan

 

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Video Recap: FSU vs Florida Super Regional Game One

By on June 6th, 2015

Florida Baseball Postgame video vs FSU, June 5, 2015

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Florida Baseball Ready For Super Regional

By on June 5th, 2015

For most of the players on the Florida baseball team this will be the most important weekend of baseball they ever play so far in their careers.

The Gators are two wins away from Omaha and the College World Series and can get there with a Super Regional win at home over rival Florida State.  Florida shortstop Richie Martin said “I’ve never wanted to win this bad” referring to this weekend.

Florida is on a seven game winning streak outscoring opponents 59 to 10 during that time. The Gators starting pitchers allowed just one run in 18 innings pitched during regional play last weekend. Florida will send out Logan Shore, A.J. Puk, and Alex Faedo if he is needed on Sunday.

Florida ace Logan Shore says the pitchers will be ready for this weekend.

“I think this is what we’ve been waiting on all year, three starters to step up and start throwing the ball well,” he said.

The Gators dropped two games to the Noles this season after taking down FSU in the first game of the series in March; that Tuesday night in March resulted in a 14-8 UF victory in McKethan Stadium.

The stage is set for one of the best Super Regional showdowns Gainesville could ever see. The SEC Tournament champion Gators will be hosting the ACC champion and arch rival Florida State Friday through Sunday. General admission tickets are already sold out you can hear live coverage of Friday’s game at 7:25 pm on Country 103-7 The Gator.

To hear from players and coaches, click below.

-Bader on the Freshman Stepping Up

– Schwarz on facing FSU for the 4th time

– Shore on the the rivalry against FSU

– Sully on FSU not having tricks up their sleeves

– Sully on what Shore needs to do to be successful

-Sully on being ready to play

-Sully on goals for the team beyond super regional

-Sully only thing that can stop us is ourselves

 

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Friday Sports Update (6/5)

By on June 5th, 2015

The Gator baseball team starts Super Regional play, Game 1 of the NBA Finals; NHL Finals start again and a horse goes for the Triple Crown in our Friday Sports Update…

** The Florida baseball team hosts Florida State beginning today in a Super Regional in Gainesville; the winner goes to Omaha and the College World Series.

** Several other SEC teams are in Super Regionals as well in Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

** Game 1 of the NBA Finals goes to Golden State as they beat Cleveland 108-100 in overtime at Golden State.   Game 2 Sunday.

** American Pharoah tries to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when he runs in the Belmont Stakes Saturday in New York.

** Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in Tampa as the Lightning host Chicago with the Black Hawks up 1-0.

** Tampa Bay is at Seattle this weekend in MLB action.   Atlanta hosts Pittsburgh and Miami is at Colorado.

** In the French Open, Serena Williams advances to the women’s final of the French Open.  She will face 13 seed Lucie Safarova in the final.  Men’s play continues today.

** The University of North Carolina has been hit with five Level 1 sanctions in an ongoing investigation into alleged academic fraud at the school.

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Gator Softball Returns To The Mountain Top; Built For Another Run Next Year

By on June 4th, 2015

Back to Back

The Florida Gators form a dog-pile in the infield after the final out

The hardest thing to do in college softball is to repeat as national champions; only two schools in the history of the sport have done it before. With the best player in the country, an elite defense and timely contributions from the entire team, the Florida softball team becomes the third team in history to win back to back national titles with a 4-1 win over the Michigan Wolverines in the Women’s College World Series. Gator coach Tim Walton explained how they sustained their success during the 2015 season.

“They all understand. I think the key to this creating your own moment is we’ve got 20 players on our team and each one has a role and each one brings value to the team. And if you can put yourself aside, your own selfish instincts, you want to play every game and support your teammates, good things happen for you.”

Michigan certainly had the momentum heading into Game 3. Since the Women’s College World Series Championship Series changed to the best of three format, the team that lost Game 1 but won Game 2 always went on to win the title. And the Wolverines started Haylie Wagner in the circle, who dominated the Gators late in Game 1 and held them scoreless in Game 2. Florida’s Lauren Haeger said after the game that an attitude adjustment was needed.

“We realized this isn’t going to be handed to us and we really needed to work hard. Michigan is a great team. And we just had a different attitude today. You could see it in our eyes. You could see it in each other, you can hear it in our conversations. We were a different team. We were who we are today.”

Florida was aggressive right out of the gate. They scored three runs in the first inning with hits from Lauren Haeger and Taylor Schwarz. Kelsey Stewart drove in another run in the second and that was all the Gators needed to win. They actually got more hits in Game 2 when they scored no runs. But timely hitting, patient at-bats and hit-by-pitches by the opposing pitchers gave Florida an advantage. Walton shared the adjustments his offense made for Game 3.

“If you notice a lot of the hitters, they’re choked up probably four, five inches on the bat. And I gave an interesting analogy I think today that one of the greatest home run hitters of all time, Barry Bonds, 32-inch bat, chokes up two or three inches. And he can hit just fine. Let’s just go find a way to make contact and hit hard ground balls today.”

Haeger once again showed why she was one of the best pitchers in the country this year. The senior, in her last game in a Gator uniform, pitched a complete game allowing just one run and five hits. Delanie Gourley spent a good amount of time in the bullpen but Walton stuck with Haeger and it got him his second national championship as the head coach at Florida. Walton compared Haeger’s ability to learn new pitches to Hannah Rogers’ situation last year.

“I think both of them developed a good off-speed pitch late in their career. I think that’s the key. Hannah developed her off-speed pitch last year about three-quarters through the season. And Lauren decided to get hers about January…I think she bought in, changed her work ethic in the circle, in the bullpen more.”

Four players from the Gator squad made the Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team: Lauren Haeger, Nicole DeWitt, Aubree Munro, and Kelsey Stewart. Haeger would go home with the Most Outstanding Player award. One player that Walton mentioned after the game that he thought was deserving was shortstop Kathlyn Medina.

“I really was hoping that whoever selected the all tournament team would recognize one of our most valuable players on our team, not only defensively but what she brings leadership wise and personality wise. Lauren Haeger gets all the recognition, but Katie Medina is one of the best shortstops in the country on one of the best teams in the country.”

Something that was quite beneficial for the Gators this past season is they only lost two seniors from last year’s winning team. This year they will be losing six; Bailey Castro, Jessica Damico, Lauren Haeger, Briana Little, Francesca Martinez, and Kathlyn Medina. But what has made the Florida Gators one of the most prestigious softball programs in the country is their ability to reload.

Kelsey Stewart, Kirsti Merritt and Aubree Munro are among key contributors that will be returning next year. They will be joined by a recruiting class of seven in Kelly Barnhill, Brooke Clemens, Amanda Lorenz, Lily Mann, Sophia Reynoso, Theresa Swertfager, and Alexandra Voss.

But for now, THIS Gator team can celebrate winning back to back national titles!

For full audio clips of quotes above, click below:

Walton on how his team sustained success

Haeger on using Game 2 as motivation

Walton on the offensive adjustments for Game 3

Walton compares Haeger and Rogers

Walton wants more recognition for Kathlyn Medina

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Thursday Sports Update (6/4)

By on June 4th, 2015

Gator softball wins a national title, NBA and NHL Finals beginning, baseball results and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The Florida softball team beats Michigan 4-1 Wednesday night to win the Women’s College World Series championship.   The Gators have now won back to back national titles.

** The Gator baseball team will host Florida State in a Super Regional starting tomorrow.   Florida’s freshman class was honored as JJ Schwarz is named the Co-Freshman of the Year and Mike Rivera and Dalton Guthrie were named to the Louisville Slugger All Freshman Team.

** The Oakland Raiders waived former Gator wide receiver Andre Debose after selecting him in this year’s NFL Draft.

** The Stanley Cup Finals began last night and Chicago takes Game 1 with a 2-1 win at Tampa Bay.

** The NBA Finals begin tonight as Golden State hosts Cleveland.

** In big league baseball, Arizona nips Atlanta 9-8, Tampa Bay edges the LA Angels 7-6 and Miami downs the Chicago Cubs 7-3.  The Rays start a series at Seattle tonight while Atlanta and Miami are off.

** The French Open continues today.  Six seed Rafael Nadal was knocked off in straight sets yesterday by Novak Djokovic.  Seven seed David Ferrer was beaten by third seed Andy Murray as well.  Women’s top seed Serena Williams advances with a win.

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