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Jud Fabian and Gator Baseball Strive for Better Season

After an early exit in the regional playoffs last season, the Gator baseball team strives for a better season.

It marks the 11th-straight season that head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club has been ranked during the preseason in the nation’s oldest college baseball poll, which began in 1959.
Courtesy: Daniel Apple

Reflecting on Last Season

Photo courtesy of Florida Gator Baseball Twitter @GatorsBB

Despite beginning the season ranked in the top 10, the Gators fell early in the regional playoff last season. The Gators ended their season in Lubbock, Texas after two losses to Dallas Baptist. The team finished the 2019 season with a 34-26 record and 13-17 in SEC play. This was a stark drop-off from where the Gators ended in 2018. In 2018, they were 49-21 on the season and 20-10 in the SEC before falling in the College World Series.

The Gators did present a young team last season. The team had over 10 freshmen on the team and regularly started four of them. One of the most vital freshman starters on the 2019 roster was center fielder Jud Fabian. Fabian was even younger than your typical college baseball freshman, leaving high school in the spring semester of his senior year to come to play for the Gators.

Offseason Improvements

This year’s Gator baseball team is looking to bounce back from a less than satisfying season last year. Fabian, now a sophomore, thinks that the Gators have had a solid offseason and are ready for what this season will bring. Fabian said the Gator hitters are building off of what they did last season.

Fabian said that the team is focused on improving the pitching that the team puts forward. Last season saw inconsistent pitching from Florida throughout the season. With a combination of a young slate of pitchers who saw weekend series starts like freshman Christian Scott and the injuries of veterans like sophomore Jack Leftwich, pitching was not Florida’s strongest suit.

Looking Forward to 2020

The Gators start the 2020 season ranked in the top 10 again despite the rough ending of last season. Fabian said that the team won’t pay much attention to the ranking but will focus more on improving and ending in a more successful way than last season.

Fabian, now in his second year, feels more confident both in the field and at the plate this season. He thinks that confidence is a huge key for this year’s team to be successful moving forward. With a surge of vengeance and the disappointment of last season hanging in the air, head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s team is out to earn a winning 2020 season in the last year at McKethan Stadium.

Opening weekend for the Gators will begin on Friday, February 14, at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.

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