Jac Caglianone making his first career start against Charleston Southern on Feb. 19. Photo courtesy of Florida Gators Baseball, @GatorsBB, via Twitter.

Gators Baseball Starts Series Against Jacksonville

The Gators travel to Jacksonville to kick off their series against the Jacksonville Dolphins Tuesday. The No. 6 Gators have had a strong 7-1 start to the season and are looking like early candidates for this year’s National Championship. While Jacksonville hasn’t looked as potent as the Gators, their recent series sweep against Siena brings them into this series with confidence.

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Rolling Gators

The Gators have blown out their opponents this season, with an average point differential of over seven points. The major difference-maker for the Gators so far has been sophomore left-handed pitcher/first baseman Jac Caglianone. Caglianone has been a threat both hitting and pitching for Florida. The young star currently leads the Gators in home runs this season (six) and has the best ERA among the team’s pitchers (2.38). Other notable names include freshman Cade Curland and junior Josh Rivera who have batting averages of .542 and .448 respectively. Curland’s .542 currently places him at No. 15 in all of division one college baseball.

In their last series, Florida swept Cincinnati, winning all three games. It wasn’t a particularly difficult series for the Gators. Florida scored 13 runs in each game, including three home runs from Caglianone in the last game.

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Jacksonville on the Rise

Jacksonville had a rough 1-3 start to the season after losing a series to Kent State.

A major point of emphasis for the Dolphins this week will be the pitching. Their pitching has been blamed as the source for most of their flaws this season. Freshman Evan Chrest has been the standout pitcher for Jacksonville so far, but as a freshman, it is hard to put all of the pressure on his shoulders. The Dolphins will most likely have to rely on depth over star power in their pitching. Jacksonville coach Chris Hayes spoke to the media about their lack of starting pitchers.

Although they struggled early, Jacksonville showed glimpses of success in their last series against Siena. Coach Haynes has expressed his pleasure with the performances and his thoughts on the future for the young roster.

Showdown in Jacksonville

The Gators come into this matchup as clear favorites. However, Jacksonville is coming out of a series sweep and will look to use that momentum in the upcoming series against Florida. First pitch is at 6:00 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium.

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