Jun 21, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators center fielder Michael Robertson (11) celebrates with Florida Gators right fielder Richie Schiekofer (25) after making a game saving catch against the fence for the last out against the TCU Horned Frogs in the ninth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s Baseball Coach Mike Hampton Talks Opening Weekend Against Gators

The 2023 NCAA World Series runner-up Florida Gators open their season this weekend against St. John’s.

St. John’s coach Mike Hampton joined Sport Scene with Steve Russell to preview the series and provide insight on the team.

Starting Pitchers for the Red Storm

St John’s will look to redshirt sophomore Xavier Kohlhosser to kick things off Friday.  The righty from Wappinger Falls, N.Y., started nine games last season recording a 3-0 record. Saturday’s starter, south paw Joe Mascio, pitched 65.1 innings across 13 starts last season. The ball will find itself back in the right hand Sunday as RHP Mario Pesca will get the start. Pesca started nine games as a freshman tossing 33 strikeouts across 46 innings.

Hampton highlighted his pitching group.

Previewing the Gators

The Florida Gators will start the season ranked second in the D1Baseball.com Top 25, returning one of the best two-way players in the nation Jac Caglianone. Caglianone was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 2023 and has been placed on this years watchlist.

The Gators added key pieces Colby Shelton (INF) and Liam Peterson (RHP) in the offseason in an attempt to retool last years CWS roster.

Hampton looks forward to the challenge of playing against Florida’s strong team.

St. John’s Defense

In sports, defense wins championships, and college baseball is no exception. Hampton discusses the value of his defense.

Approaching the Game

The Red Storm will travel to Gainesville to play a three-game series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. St. John’s has played Florida once, losing the team’s 1997 contest.

After opening weekend, St. John’s will head out to take on the University of Texas to take on Houston in a three-game weekend series. The Red Storm will start conference play on Apr. 5 when they Take on Villanova. The weekend series will take place in Villanova ballpark in Villanova, Pa.

About Alexander Vafeas

Alexander Vafeas is a second-year Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida. When not writing about high school sports for WRUF, Alexander works as a communications intern with the University of Florida Athletic Association.

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