Jun 19, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; The Florida Gators await the start of the game against the Virginia Cavaliers in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Baseball Looks to Regroup vs. Stetson Tonight

The Gator baseball team suffered their first weekend series sweep since 2013 this past weekend. The Auburn Tigers handed it to the Gators by scoring 16 runs against the Gator defense and allowing the Gators to cross the plate just four times in the first two games. Auburn finished the series with a close 6-5 win Sunday afternoon.

Florida

Florida seemed to be struggling both offensively and defensively in the series against the Tigers as the Gators produced over 25 percent of their total errors on the season in just one weekend. Two of these errors resulted in runs for the Tigers in the Gators 6-5 loss on Sunday.

Feb 18, 2017; Gainesville, FL;Credit: Savanna Collins – ESPN 98.1 FM

The team has been struggling from the plate and this continued in their series over the weekend. In the first two games of the series, Florida struck out 19 times while producing just nine hits. The bats came alive in the final game of the series with eight hits and five runs. The Gators will need to continue to make connections at the plate against Stetson tonight and moving into conference play this weekend.

The Gators have struggled in their mid-week games this season with a record of 2-4 but had a big win against their in-state rivals the Florida State Seminoles last week.

Offensively, Florida is averaging .240 at the plate. Three of the Gators’ offensive threats have cold bats right now. JJ Schwarz (.205 AVG), Mike Rivera (.190 AVG) and Deacon Liput (.203 AVG) are three returning players that look to be the strength of the lineup but need to shake off the cold bats. Jonathan India had three hits on the weekend series and one homer and may continue to be the team’s spark in the lineup going into the game tonight.

Stetson

The Hatters have trouble playing without errors. Last weekend in their series against the Farfield Stags, Stetson committed five errors. A throwing error and a wild pitch costed Stetson two runs on the weekend.

Sophomores Jack Gonzalez and Kirk Sidwell will look to continue in sparking the team’s offense as they finished the weekend series with a combined four hits in their Sunday win. Gonzalez and Sidwell had a combined eight hits on the weekend.

Stetson’s team has six players in their lineup hitting above .250 but will have to focus at the plate to get hits off of Florida’s talented pitching staff. The team has no one hitting above .300. Freshman Austin Bogart and sophomore Jack Gonzalez lead the team with their average of .288 at the plate.

The teams’ History

Florida leads the series 80-34 and Coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 4-0 against Stetson.

Tonight

As of this morning, Stetson will be starting sophomore right hander Joey Gonzalez (1-0). Gonzalez has pitched an ERA of 3.52 this season. Florida is expected to start freshman right hander Nate Brown (1-0). Brown started in the team’s win against Florida State last week.

The Gators have an impressive 1.62 ERA and in their wins this season and combined 3.91 ERA on the season. The Gators will look to get back on their win streak this evening and look to get their first win of the season away from McKethan Stadium.

The first pitch is set at Stetson in Conrad Park. Coverage will be live on ESPN 98.1 FM 850 AM at 6:25 p.m.

 

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