Notebook: Gators counting on Faedo in must-win game


In this file photo, Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan takes the ball from Alex Faedo. O'Sullivan will give Faedo the ball in the Gators' elimination game with Texas Tech Tuesday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File
Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 8:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 8:28 p.m.

OMAHA, Neb. — Sophomore right-hander Alex Faedo has pitched in some important moments early in his Florida career.

Faedo will be asked to perform in another big spot this afternoon when the Gators try to keep their season alive against Texas Tech (5 p.m., ESPN).

Faedo (13-2, 3.25 ERA) has emerged as UF's second starter late in the season due to the wildness of hard-throwing junior lefty A.J. Puk. Faedo is a hard-thrower in his own right, recording 124 strikeouts in 97 innings this season.

“He's been great for us all year long,” Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “I watched a little bit of the TCU-Texas Tech game and I think they've got, like, six right-handers in the lineup. So we'll run him out there. I feel great with him on the mound. And I feel very confident, but we're obviously going to have to swing the bats a little bit better.”

Faedo responded well last season in the College World Series, allowing just one earned run over five innings to earn a win over Miami in an elimination game.

Florida sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie said he's witnessed growth from Faedo in his second college season.

“He's learned to trust his stuff, trust his pitches,” Guthrie said. “I think the physical change, getting stronger, has given him confidence that he's good enough when he locates his pitches.”

Miami eliminated

It turned out to be a short stay for the other representative from the state of Florida in the College World Series. Miami, the third national seed, was eliminated from CWS play following a 5-3 loss to UC-Santa Barbara on Monday afternoon.

It was just the second time in school history that Miami (50-14) went two-and-out here. The only other time the Hurricanes went two-and-out was in 1979.

“I'm disappointed in the way we played out here in Omaha,” Miami coach Jim Morris said. “We didn't do the little things that we did all year long to win the number of games we did.”

Florida (1) and Texas Tech (5) are the only remaining national seeds in CWS play. One of those two will be knocked out this evening.

Closing issues

Texas Tech had a 3-2 lead going into the ninth inning Sunday against TCU. But righty reliever Robert Dugger was unable to hold the lead in the ninth, giving up a three-run homer to Luken Baker in an eventual 5-3 TCU win.

“You're pitching at the back end of the game, it's going to happen now and then,” Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock. “Those guys pitching back there have to be the toughest guys on the team because when you give one up, you need to be able to flush it and move on to the next game.”

Tadlock said Dugger didn't have great command of his pitches Sunday, but wouldn't hesitate to go to him again Tuesday with a lead against Florida. But Texas Tech has other options out of the bullpen. Lefty Hayden Howard (9-3, 2.95 ERA, 8 saves) has served as Texas Tech's version of Dane Dunning, capable of working in long or short relief stints. Righty Ryan Moseley (6-4, 5.40 ERA, 4 saves) is another option to close for Texas Tech, though he's dealt with control issues on and off throughout the 2016 season. Moseley has 35 walks in 51.2 innings pitched this season.

Etc.

O'Sullivan fell to 6-9 in his career in College World Series games. … Florida entered College World Series play as the No. 1 national seed, but the top overall seeds don't always fare well in Omaha. The last top seed to win a College World Series was Miami in 1999. As a No. 1 national seed in 2012, Florida went two-and-out in Omaha.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top