Florida baseball's top five rivalries
Published: Friday, February 17, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.
Different sports have different rivalries at Florida. So what are the Gators' biggest rivals in baseball? The Sun asked several players and Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. This was the consensus:
1. FLORIDA STATE
This in-state rivalry is intensity in three cities this year. FSU has had the upper hand of late to make it that much bigger for the Gators. Add in the fact that FSU eliminated Florida from the College World Series two years ago and you get the top rivalry.
This year: March 13 in Gainesville, March 27 in Jacksonville, April 10 in Tallahassee.
2. SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gators and Gamecocks had a good rivalry going before the events of the last two seasons. Two years ago, Florida celebrated an SEC title on South Carolina's field. Last year, SC swept UF in two games in the CWS Championship Series. This is not only a rivalry series, but a matchup of two of the best programs in the country.
This year: March 22, 23 and 24 in Columbia, S.C.
The Hurricanes have fallen off a bit since joining the ACC, but the dislike between the fan bases has not. Florida eliminated Miami two years ago to earn a trip to Omaha. Miami used to make it routine to knock the Gators out of the postseason.
This year: March 2, 3 and 4 at Coral Gables.
It doesn't matter the sport or the rankings, Florida vs. Georgia is always going to be a big deal. Although Georgia struggled last season (33-32), the Bulldogs are preseason No. 11, according to Baseball America.
This year: April, 20, 21 and 22 in Gainesville.
The Commodores tied Florida and South Carolina for the league title last year, and Florida knocked Vandy out of Omaha. Tim Corbin and O'Sullivan are as close as brothers, and you know how brothers like to beat each other. “We want to get those wins for Coach O'Sullivan so he has bragging rights,” said pitcher Karsten Whitson.
This year: March 16, 17 and 18 in Gainesville.
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