FILE - Florida outfielder Jud Fabian bats during an NCAA college baseball game against Florida A&M in Gainesville, Fla., in this Wednesday, March 4, 2020, file photo. The Gators are in a familiar place as the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason. Fabian might be the best position player in the country. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Gator baseball looks to pick up a win versus FAMU

Gator Baseball has fallen out of the D1 baseball rankings this week after being swept by No. 23 Georgia. They look to get back on track this week by picking up a win versus Florida A&M tonight before facing No.2 Arkansas this weekend.

Two Game Series

The last time these two means met, the Gators did not have a hard time handling the Rattlers. In that game on March 2, 2022 the Gators shut out the Rattlers while putting 17 runs on the board. The Gator offense had 21 hits with Jud Fabian and Sterlin Thompson leading the way with three hits each. The Gators also blasted six homers in the contest. Garrett Milchin made his first start of the season and kept the Rattlers in check through the first-five innings of play.

Going into the second game of this two-game series, the Rattlers are coming off of a big weekend as the swept Alabama A&M. Meanwhile, the Gators had a disappointing weekend as they have now lost five straight conference games.

Gator Pitching Trouble

This season the Gators have been plagued by their inconsistent pitching. After two losses to open the series versus Georgia, the Gators once again fell victim to a breakdown from their bullpen. They allowed eight runs in the seventh inning of game three to blow a four-run lead and drop the final game of the series.

Sophomore Hunter Barco leads the Gator pitchers this boasting a 1.87 ERA. However, behind him the youth of the bullpen has been a problem. The team does not have a true junior or senior pitcher on the team, besides graduate student Milchin. This season they have nine freshmen pitchers on the roster and had to replace five of their top-6 arms from a year ago. The inexperience has proved to be something the Gators must look to overcome as the season progresses.

Tonight, on the mound the Gators will start RHP Nick Pogue. Pogue is a redshirt sophomore but is entering his fourth season with the Gators after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. He has started two games this season, but he struggled in those games not making it out of the second inning in both games.

What to Expect

Coming off their loss this weekend, expect the Gators to want to come out strong and in hopes of getting a big win before their big series the weekend. Although the Rattlers are coming off a win this weekend, defeating the Gators at home will still be a challenge.

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