Gainesville regional baseball capsules
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 at 11:47 p.m.
at McKethan Stadium
Florida 4, Bethune-Cookman 0
Florida 6, Georgia Tech 2
Florida (44-18) vs. Georgia Tech (38-25), 6 p.m., 103.7 FM
— All games broadcast on ESPN3
2012 record: (42-18)
Head coach: Kevin O'Sullivan, fifth season
How qualified to NCAA tournament: Florida began the season at the top of the Baseball America poll and retains that status as it enters the NCAA tournament as regional host. The Gators finished 2-2 during the SEC tournament, a game better than then-No. 2 LSU.
Key players: Mike Zunino, Jr., C (.323 AVG, 16 HRs, 55 RBIs); Daniel Pigott, Sr., OF (.320 AVG, 7 HRs, 35 RBIs); Brian Johnson, Jr., LHP/1B/DH (.318 AVG, 5 HR, 39 RBIs, 7-4, 3.67 ERA); Nolan Fontana, Jr., SS (.290 AVG, 9 HR, 28 RBIs, 11 SB); Preston Tucker, Sr., RF (.312 AVG, 14 HRs, 44 RBIs); Hudson Randall, Jr., RHP (7-2, 2.91 ERA); Karsten Whitson, So., RHP (3-0, 3.41 ERA); Austin Maddox, Jr., RHP/DH (2.28 ERA, 12 SV); Steven Rodriguez, Jr., LHP (2.04 ERA, 77 K, 57.1 IP).
Outlook: Florida moved on to the conference semifinals for the third straight year and completed the regular season tied for third in the SEC. This is the first time in school history UF has been chosen to host NCAA Regional action four years in a row.
2012 record: (36-24)
Head coach: Danny Hall, 18th season
How qualified to NCAA tournament: The Yellow Jackets earned the final spot in the ACC tournament on the last day of the regular season and made the most of it by winning it all.
Key players: Brandon Thomas, Jr., OF (.352 AVG, 4 HRs, 41 RBIs); Sam Dove, Jr., OF, (.338 AVG, 28 RBIs); Jake Davies, Sr., LHP (.332 AVG, 13 HR, 69 RBIs); Daniel Palka, So., 1B/OF/LHP (.302, 12 HR, 47 RBIs); Buck Farmer, Jr., RHP (8-3, 3.43 ERA); Alex Cruz, So., RHP/IF (7-3, 2.00 ERA).
Outlook: Georgia Tech became the first-ever No. 8-seed to beat a No. 1-seed in ACC Tournament history with a 5-4 win over FSU followed by the most lopsided win by an eight-seed in tournament history with a 17-5 win over Virginia. The Yellow Jackets then became just the third-ever eight-seed to reach the title game, and capped the ACC tourney off by becoming the first-ever eight-seed to become ACC champs.
2012 record: (37-20)
Head coach: Monte Lee, fourth season
How qualified to NCAA tournament: Finished the season as co-champions of the Southern Conference. The Cougars captured postseason wins over South Carolina, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and Samford.
Key players: Marty Gantt, Sr., OF/LHP (.375 AVG, 10 HRs, 44 RBIs, .612 SLG, 25 SB, SoCon Player of the Year); Brandon Murray, So., OF (.324 AVG, 12 HRs, 39 RBIs); Christian Powell, Jr., RHP, (9-3, 2.39 ERA, 73 K, 26 BB, 90.1 IP, SoCon Pitcher of the Year).
Outlook: This season marks the fifth NCAA postseason appearance for the Cougars since 2004, and the first since College of Charleston advanced to the finals of the Coastal Carolina regional in 2010.
2012 record: (34-25)
Head coach: Jason Beverlin, first season
How qualified to NCAA tournament: Won its seventh consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title.
Key players: Anthony Stokes, So., 1B (.273 AVG, 10 HRs, 35 RBIs); Brashad Johnson, Sr., IF (.346 AVG, 34 RBIs, 20 SB); Jairo Acevedo, Sr., DH/RHP (.321 AVG, 2.37 ERA); David Lee, Jr., OF (.316, 47 RBIs, 23 SB); Josh Johnson, So., OF (.295, 24 RBIs, 27 SB); Rayan Gonzalez, Sr., RHP (9-1, 1.96 ERA, 87.1 IP, 79 K).
Outlook: This is the seventh straight regional appearance for the Wildcats, and 15th NCAA Tournament appearance overall. All of Bethune Cookman's players have been to the NCAA Tournament each year of their career.
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