Florida Baseball is on their way to Columbia this weekend for an in-conference series with the No.23 Missouri Tigers. Both in the East, the Tigers (21-4) are third in the division and the Gators (17-9) sit at fifth.
Florida leads the all-time series against Missouri 14-4.
Taming the Tigers
Mizzou is scoring an average of about 8 runs per game this season, even putting up a whopping 27 runs earlier in the season. They are second in the SEC in team batting, only behind Kentucky, with a .308 average.
Some of the explosive bats on the Tigers side that the Gators will have to tame are Brian Sharp, Robbie Glendinning and Nelson Mompierre. All three are in the top 15 batters in the conference, Sharp with a .371 average this season.
In the base path, the Gators will have to keep an eye on Kameron Misner who is tied for leading the conference this season with nine stolen bases.
They held the nation’s longest active winning streak through the month of March, winning 20 games in a row. It was snapped by Arkansas last Friday and the Tigers have been less consistent since. They’ve lost their last three of four games, the most recent loss to in-state rival Southeast Missouri State. The Redhawks just edged the Tigers 6-5 on Tuesday.
In the field, the Tigers make a lot of errors, 43 this season, second-most in the conference.
Finding a Rhythm
The Gators on the other hand are at the bottom of the conference in batting which they make up for with strong arms on the mound. UF doesn’t have a single player on the list of leading offensive categories in the SEC.
The Florida arms will have to continue to prove their dominance against Mizzou’s offense. So far this season they are on the same track as last year’s record setting strikeout total. Right now the Gator pitchers average 9.23 strikeouts per game, just trailing last year’s number of 9.87 per game.
They also played their in-state rivals this week and took down the Florida State Seminoles 4-1 with a great show of pitching from starter and bullpen.
Since getting swept at Auburn to open conference play, the Gators are 4-1 with three wins over top-10 opponents (two wins over No. 4 LSU, one win over No. 10 Florida State).
Catcher Mike Rivera has been hot as of late, hitting .389 (7-for-18) over the last five games with a team best seven hits and seven RBI.
Friday: RHP Alex Faedo (4-1, 2.39 ERA) vs. RHP Tanner Houck
(3-2, 2.80 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Brady Singer (3-1, 1.58 ERA) vs. LHP Michael Plassmeyer (4-0, 2.73 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Jackson Kowar (3-0, 2.48 ERA) vs. TBD
When & Where to Watch
The series will begin on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and continue through the weekend. Saturday’s game is set for 3 p.m., Sunday’s at 2 p.m.
All three games will stream live on SEC Network+ via the WatchESPN app.