Following last weekend’s much needed sweep at Columbia, the Gators baseball team was seeded No. 11 in the SEC baseball tournament. The Gators, who are likely still on the bubble for the NCAA baseball tournament, definitely have the odds stacked against them as they try to make a run in the post season.
Looking at the Gators’ opening matchup, they’ll play in the opening game on Tuesday against the No. 6 seeded, Texas A&M Aggies at 10:30 a.m. ET in Hoover, Alabama. The Gators and the Aggies have not met this season in what some people call a blessing, while others call it a curse. Whichever you believe, the only thing that matters is that both teams will have something brand new thrown their way.
Like Florida, Texas A&M is also coming off of a hot stretch in winning two of their last three series with wins over Arkansas and then Alabama.
Considering we don’t have a previous meeting between the two squads to allude to, taking a deeper look into the teams’ cumulative statistics provides us with a greater understanding as to what to expect. In terms of batting, as a team, the Gators have mustered up a .283 batting average. This compares to the Aggies’ .253 batting average. While that isn’t much of a difference to write home about, it is worth mentioning considering Florida’s offensive struggles this season.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the two teams comes from atop the mound. While Florida’s ace, Tommy Mace has an ERA of 5.18 through the season, the Aggies go-to-guy, John Doxakis, boasts a 2.01. As many postseason bouts are, I believe we can expect this matchup to come down to pitching.
While Florida has struggled all season with their talent on the mound, the Gators are coming off of a hot weekend behind right-hander, Jack Leftwich, who also claimed SEC’s co-pitcher of the week award following his performance at Missouri.
Despite the odds being considerably stacked against Florida, if the guys can learn anything from the their female counterparts who play across campus at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, its that when it comes to the postseason, nothing else matters.
For a Florida baseball team that has struggled in every facet of the game all year long, remembering that everyone is 0-0 come Tuesday could be vitally important.