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No. 5 Mississippi State Bulldogs visit the No. 1 Florida Gators in Gainesville this weekend.

Preview: No. 1 Gators Welcome No. 5 Mississippi State to Town

The last couple of weeks for the Florida Gators baseball team has been a flat out statement.  Having gone undefeated in their last five games, and sweeping the No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies at home this past weekend, the Gators have reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the country. Florida lost to Kentucky during a weekend series which began on March 25 dropping the club to No. 2 for a week.  The Gators have learned from the loss and came back firing on all cylinders.

Baseball fans are in store for an exciting match-up as the No. 5 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs come to Gainesville to take on the Gators.  The strenuous SEC baseball schedule does not allow for rest or celebration as there is always a top-tier opponent looming.

The Gators have a program-record 28 straight wins at home dating back to last year. Although keeping the record going would be nice, the Gators coaching staff looks for the team to play fundamentally smart baseball and execute the game plan. This has resonated well with junior outfielder Buddy Reed who stresses the importance of adhering to the game plan and making adjustments.

Florida has maintained an impressive stat-line so far this season as they lead the SEC in defense(.982 fielding percentage), are third in ERA (2.82) and sixth in hitting (.300).  The Florida Gators have relied on pitching and defense since their offense has not been brilliant.

Gators phenom A.J. Puk threw only 11 pitches before leaving the game with a spasm in his back in his last outing. According to members of the coaching staff, he is probable to take his regular turn in the rotation this weekend.

A wide array of talent will be on display at McKethan stadium this weekend as both squads have a plethora of talent and MLB prospects at their disposal. One matchup to keep an eye on is the pitcher dual between Dakota Hudson (4-1, 0.92) of Mississippi State as he takes on Gator pitcher Logan Shore.  The battle of these two first-round prospects opens up the series on Friday night.  JJ Schwarz talks about the match-up.

The action starts Friday night at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM with pregame at 5:25 p.m.

About Ramsey K. Hamed

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