Florida utility Jac Caglianone (14) taps helmets with catcher Luke Heyman (28) and infielder Cade Kurland (4) after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of an NCAA baseball matchup Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at the University of North Florida’s Harmon Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Florida blanked North Florida 10-0 in seven innings. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Preview: Gators Baseball vs. Bethune-Cookman

The Gators baseball team will host Bethune-Cookman Wednesday night at 6:30 EST in a mid-week matchup.


Improving Records

The Gators are 5-2 coming off a 4-7 loss against Stetson Tuesday night. However, going into that game, the Gators had won their previous five in a row. The Gators are looking to win their sixth game of the season against the Wildcats.

While the Wildcats have a slightly lower record of 4-3, they are coming off a 5-1 win against FGCU.

If the Wildcats win, both teams would have a 5-3 record, which could affect future rankings.

Face-to-Face Again

The last time Bethune-Cookman and Florida went head to head was April 4, 2023. The Gators won 8-4, and the Wildcats want revenge. Last time they faced, the Gators were No. 3 in the country with a sweeping 25-5 record.

Since their first ever match-up in 1989, the Gators have only lost one time against the Wildcats. Florida lost 2-6 at home in 2017, which means the Gators have a 36-1 matchup win record against the Wildcats.

The Wildcats have plenty of reason for revenge, as well as to make history by winning this game.

Batting & Fielding

Having only lost two games so far this season, the Gators are sitting pretty with a winning percentage of 0.714. Their batting average is 0.313, with Armando Albert is leading with a batting average of .500 and an OPS of 1.167. Jac Caglianone is not far behind, with a batting average of .481 and a slightly higher OPS of 1.230.

In terms of defense and fielding for Florida, sophomore Luke Heyman drastically leads the team with 80 catches so far this season. That is 36 more catches than Caglianone, who is runner up; Caglianone has 44 catches. Heyman and Caglianone are also two of 15 players with a 1.000% field percentage.

For the Wildcats, Franki Febles is leading his team with a batting average of 1.000 and a OPS score of 2.000; this is higher than the Gators’ Armando Albert, who leads his team in these categories. The runner up for the Wildcats is more on par with Florida, with a .500 batting average and a 1.238 OPS average.

Fielding wise, the Wildcats are behind Florida with Manny Souffrain completing 41 catches this season; 39 less than Heyman who leads the Gators in catches.

The Wildcats also have a .571 winning percentage, which is 0.143 pct behind Florida.

With their killer offense and run-stopping defense, the Gators are slated to secure their 37th win against the Wildcats.

Up Next

Up next for the Gators, they will play Friday at 7 p.m. in Miami.

Bethune-Cookman’s next game will also be Friday at 7 p.m., but against Northwestern.

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