Vols visit for Gators’ final regular-season home series

0
1046
McKethan Stadium on the UF campus. [Cyndi Chambers/ Correspondent]

Special to Gatorsports.com

Florida hosts Tennessee this weekend in the final home baseball series at McKethan Stadium for the regular season.

Tommy Mace (7-4, 4.77 ERA) goes to the mound for the Gators (29-21, 9-15 SEC) starting at 6:30 p.m. today (SEC Network+) against Vols (33-16, 10-14) righty Garrett Stallings (7-3, 3.03 ERA).

The teams play again at 3 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network) and 1 p.m. Sunday (SEC Network+).

SERIES HISTORY | Overall: Florida leads, 152-85. In Gainesville: Florida leads, 82-39. Notable: Under O’Sullivan, Florida is 22-11 against the Vols, including a 9-2 record in weekend series. In the last six meetings between the two teams, the series is tied 3-3 with three games going to extra innings.

SUCCESS VS. THE VOLS: Several Gators have been successful in the past few years against Tennessee:

  • Butler: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K
  • Langworthy: .500 (7-14), 3 R, 3 RBI
  • Leftwich: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R
  • Maldonado: .294 (10-34), 4 R, RBI

SUPER SOPH: SS Brady McConnell leads the offense this season with a .360 average and 40 RBI. On the year, he leads UF with 12 home runs and 21 multi-hit games. His 12 homers are the second-most in school history by a shortstop (Mark Ellis, 14 in 1998).

HOME SWEET HOME: The Gators have been a different team at McKethan Stadium compared to when they hit the road.


Home Road
W-L 25-9 3-13
Batting Avg. .318 .226
Runs Per Game 8.2 3.9
Slugging Pct. .506 .358
On Base Pct. .403 .311
Earned Run Avg. 4.03 8.93
Batting Avg. Against .244 .338
Fielding Pct. .974 .968

EL CAPITAN: Senior captain Nelson Maldonado has been the most consistent Gators’ hitter over the last 10 games, with a .394 average (13-33), two homers and nine RBI. On the season, he’s set new career bests with 13 doubles and a .587 slugging pct.

LANGWORTHY ON FIRE: Junior Austin Langworthy is 31-for-90 (.344) with 21 RBI and 13 extra-base hits in his last 24 games. He started the season in a slump, hitting just .187 (17-for-91) with 11 RBI and six extra-base hits. On the season, he has already set new career bests in home runs (6), RBI (32) and slugging percentage (.448). 

HOW BOUT DEM APPLES: Sophomore catcher Brady Smith (who’s doppelganger is Matt Damon) has been on a tear over his last 17 games, hitting .400 (18-for-45) with three home runs and eight RBI. He had a career-high four hits in game one at LSU. He has already surpassed his season totals from his freshman season with five home runs and 17 RBI on the year.

DALTON TRENDING UP: Junior Wil Dalton struggled in the early part of the season but is trending up with a .325 average (13-40) over the past 12 games.

FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: Florida’s winning formula this season has mostly come from its offense. The Gators are 22-2 when out-hitting the opponent and 19-3 with scoring six runs or more. Conversely, UF is 10-18 when scoring less than six runs and 4-17 when out-hit by the opponent.

TOUGH FINISH: Nine of Florida’s final 10 games are against Top 25 opponents. The Gators faced #8 Georgia last weekend and finish with series against #24 Tennessee and at #22 Missouri.

PARKING

  • First-come, first-serve in O’Connell Center Garage
  • James G. Pressly Stadium
  • Law School
  • Frat Row, along Fraternity Drive
  • Please DO NOT park along any roads or in the grass and only use parking lots or garages.

PROMOTIONS

Friday vs. Tennessee (presented by Davis Chevrolet)

  • Performance T-Shirt Giveaway – The first 500 fans will receive a FREE Florida Gators Baseball performance t-shirt.
  • Food Truck Friday – Local food trucks Cilantro Tacos and Soup to Nuts will be set up along the left field line by maintenance area.
  • Pepsi Family Night – Families can purchase 4 GA tickets, 4 hotdogs and 4 sodas for only $24.
  • Gator Booster Night – All Gator Booster members with valid ID receive 2-for-1 reserved bleacher.
  • Kids Korner – Fun and games set up on the concourse for kids 12 and under!

Saturday vs. Tennessee – SENIOR DAY begins at 2:38 p.m. (presented by KISS 105.3 FM)

  • Seniors Nights – Senior citizens, ages 55 and older, can purchase 2-for-1 reserved bleacher seating
  • Military/First Responders Nights – All military members and first responders, active and retired, can purchase 2-for-1 reserved bleacher seating
  • Kids Korner – Fun and games set up on the concourse for kids 12 and under!

Sunday vs. Tennessee (presented by Pepsi)

  • Mother’s Day Flowers – The first 150 mothers in attendance will receive a rose in honor of Mother’s Day.
  • Kona Ice – Local food truck Kona Ice will be on hand to provide refreshing treats on a hot afternoon.
  • Family Sundays – GA tickets, small popcorn and 10oz. sodas are only $1 each.
  • Community National Anthem – Prior to the game, kids 12 and under, can line the field for the National Anthem.
  • Kids Korner – Fun and games set up on the concourse for kids 12 and under!
  • Autograph Alley – Immediately following the game, Gator players will be available to sign autographs in Autograph Alley down the 3rd base line. Due to NCAA compliance regulations, athletes will only be allow to sign Florida Gators promotional materials (posters, schedule cards, magnets) and baseballs. 
  • Daniel Apple of UF Sports Information Dept. contributed to this report