Gators look to extend win streak at No. 17 Bulldogs
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.
Florida hits the road for its second of five SEC series away from Gainesville when it visits No. 17 Mississippi State for three games starting today at 7:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field. The two teams will then play 4 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Gators vs. Bulldogs
WHO: Florida (14-16, 4-5 SEC) at No. 17 Mississippi State (24-8, 3-6 SEC)
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Miss.
TV: Friday, none; Saturday, CSS (Cox Sports Channel 199); Sunday, none
RADIO: 103.7 FM
On Tuesday night, the Gators (14-16, 4-5 SEC) scored twice in the seventh inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit and added an insurance run in the eighth in a 5-3 victory over UCF at McKethan Stadium to raise their winning streak to three games. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (24-8, 3-6 SEC) snapped a 4-4 tie with two runs in the ninth to grab a 6-4 road win at South Alabama.
Junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (1-4, 4.46 ERA), the most recent SEC Pitcher of the Week, will begin the series against MSU senior left-hander Luis Pollorena (4-1, 3.34 ERA). Crawford fired a two-hit shutout to down No. 11 Ole Miss last Saturday, with a season-high eight strikeouts and two walks. The righty has registered a team-high 34 strikeouts in 42.1 innings of work and has worked at least six innings in his last five starts.
Freshman southpaw Danny Young (1-2, 3.12 ERA) will make his first road start on Saturday afternoon against Bulldogs senior righty Kendall Graveman (3-2, 2.43 ERA). Young collected his first win in his SEC starting debut last Sunday, when he limited Ole Miss to one hit in 5.1 scoreless innings.
Neither the Gators or Bulldogs have announced a starter for Sunday's matchup yet.
O'Sullivan is 10-3 (.769) against Mississippi State, 7-2 (.778) in Gainesville, 2-1 (.667) in Starkville and 1-0 (1.000) at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
The Gators have taken eight of their last 11 regular-season series versus the Bulldogs since 2000. Florida enjoyed a run of five-consecutive triumphs from 2001-05, MSU posted a pair of 2-1 decisions in 2006 & 2007 and the Gators have won the last three with a sweep in 2010 and 2-1 victories the last two seasons.
The teams have met seven times since the most recent encounter in Starkville on April 10, 2011. UF posted a 7-5 victory at the SEC Tournament on May 25, 2011, emerged on top in a classic NCAA Gainesville Super Regional from June 10-12, 2011, and claimed two of the three meetings between May 11-13, 2012, at McKethan Stadium.
Notes: Florida has played the toughest schedule to date in the nation, as its opponents have a combined record of 562-209 (.729). ... All nine league contests the Gators have played so far have been against ranked teams: No. 10 Kentucky (1-2), at No. 2 Vanderbilt (1-2) and No. 11 Ole Miss (2-1). ... Sophomore C Taylor Gushue (.276) enters the weekend on a career-high six-game hitting streak in which he is 7-for-20 (.350) with six runs, three RBI and two doubles. ... Sophomore OF Justin Shafer (.325) leads the SEC with 12 doubles and is coming off of a 5-for-13 (.385) weekend in which he scored a team-high four runs.