Super match-up: Aces of college baseball

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Left: Florida's Brady Singer pitches against Jacksonville during an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game. (Cyndi Chambers/The Gainesville Sun via AP) Right: Auburn pitcher Casey Mize throws a pitch during the first inning of a Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

On Saturday at the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional at McKethan Stadium, there will be another mound match-up of two first-round selections from this week’s Major League Baseball draft: Auburn junior right-hander Casey Mize vs. Florida junior righty Brady Singer.

Let’s break down the pairing:

CASEY MIZE
RHP, Auburn, 21, 6-3, 220, junior.
The No. 1 overall pick Monday by the Detroit Tigers went undrafted out of high school three years ago, developing into a potential big league ace while in college. Mize has the mound combination that makes scouts drool — and batters consistently miss. He’s got solid command of four pitches, including a fastball that hovers in the mid-90s. But it’s his outstanding command and wicked splitter/changeup — possibly the best in the draft — that push him to the top of most teams’ wish lists. He was 10-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 151 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 109 2/3 innings while helping the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional.

Scouting report from MLB.com’s Mize has the best pitch in the draft — a nearly-unhittable splitter. He has the best combination of stuff and polish of any pitcher in the 2018 draft class.

BRADY SINGER
RHP, Florida, 21, 6-5, 210, junior.
The Gators ace and SEC pitcher of the year has been in the discussion since last year to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft with his mid-90s fastball and solid slider. He was the No. 18 overall pick by the Kansas City Royals, who also selected teammate Jackson Kowar later in the round. A slow start and recent hamstring issue likely kept Singer from going higher. Singer showed he was healthy again by going seven strong innings in an NCAA Tournament win over Jacksonville on Saturday. He’s 11-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 98 strikeouts and 19 walks in 95 innings.
Scouting report from MLB.com’s Kansas City got a nearly MLB-ready pitcher who has a lively fastball and tremendous feel for his slider. I really like the way Singer attacks hitters, and his competitiveness is off the charts.
THE MATCHUP
Singer out-dueled Mize during the regular when Florida beat Auburn 3-1 at McKethan Stadium on April 26. Singer allowed a run on four hits in seven innings with two walks and eight strikeouts to earn the win. Mize allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. Florida’s three runs in the win came on a solo home run by Jonathan India and a two-RBI single by Brady Smith. The stakes will be higher in the rematch. Singer has shown the ability to rise to the occasion in the postseason, going 3-0 with a 2.93 earned run average over his last five starts. Singer has struck out 38 in 30.2 innings during that span. Mize is coming off a win last week in his regional start against Army, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

GAINESVILLE SUPER REGIONAL

At Alfred A. McKethan Stadium

Saturday: Florida (45-18) vs. Auburn (42-21), noon

Sunday: Florida vs. Auburn, noon

x-Monday: Florida vs. Auburn, 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM

Ticket Information

Fans can order tickets for the Super Regional Tournament using the following methods:

  • Order online at www.FloridaGators.com/tickets
  • Order by calling one of the Ticket Office Specialists at (352) 375-4683, ext. 6800, or toll free (800) 344-2867, option 2, Through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Order by visiting the Gator Ticket Office, located at Gate 1 of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

2 COMMENTS

  1. And there-in lies the point I was going to make about Singer… he’s has the mentality and mindset that he WANTS to beat you and won’t quit until he does. That’s why I think Singer might be just a “little” better than Mize (who I think is already fantastic), but I believe Singer’s competitive mentality helps UF win the pitching duel and Game #1 Saturday, but…

    After that, I have no idea what to expect. Kowar is “good”, but he’s not elite like a Singer or Mize, who I believe are the best two pitchers in college baseball this year. This is also a pitching duel I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow.

    Kowar will pitch a gem one weekend and then stink it up the next. Completely unpredictable, and that’s where confidence and mindset comes into play in baseball. He’s got to focus because we need our #2 guy for these remaining games leading into a potential trip to Omaha.

    That said, Mace has developed pretty well and moved up the ranks, but now’s the time for him to finally have it all put together to be a reliable #3 guy for us. He doesn’t have to “perfect’, but he has to be consistent. We all know Byrne had one bad game a couple of weeks ago, but every good pitcher is allowed one bad game where they’re just off.

    Out of all the rest of the pitching staff, we need at least two more to be serviceable and be able to take up some slack. Again, they don’t have to be perfect, but consistent. Get strikes, not allow a bunch of runs.

    I myself am keeping my fingers crossed about these Supers. Winning Game One is HUGE. It gives you all the confidence and momentum and puts the pressure on the other team. If our pitchers can find some consistency, we’re going to be tough to beat. If we start falling apart at the mound again, we’re in big trouble.