It is in the media. New scholarship and roster-size limits will likely lead to some uncomfortable situations this fall, particularly with respect to the new transfer restrictions. That said, new Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan seems to be spitting mad about a one-sided article in the Gainesville Sun that paints him in less than positive light.
The article involves allegations regarding a meeting with a local high school coach, who’s son is on the Gators squad. The high school coach alleges that O’Sullivan took away the scholarship of his son, Bo Smith, at the 11th hour before classes and that O’Sullivan has only a passing familiarity with his own roster.
The Florida Athletics department hit back this morning, citing massive inaccuracies in the article and defending Coach O’Sullivan. The real story is likely somewhere in the middle, as always, but look for roster issues to come up at numerous schools this fall, particularly those with large recruiting classes and with new coaches. One thing is for certain, though: this was not how O’Sullivan wanted to start out with the local media.
Read the Gainesville
Sun article here
Read the UF
Press Release response here
New Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan and The University of Florida athletic department has released the 2008 baseball schedule on Wednesday. The Gators will open the season on February 22nd when they take on Siena for a three game set. The Gators will make the trip down to the University of Miami the next weekend before coming back home to take on defending Ivy League Champs Brown. The Gators will play Florida State three times this season with a game in each teams respective ballpark and a neutral site game in Jacksonville. In addition to the strong OOC schedule, Florida will play a full 30 games in the SEC which is highlighted by a visit from SEC power Vanderbilt to end the season. The full schedule is available here.
Boston.com is reporting that Blaine O’Brien of Scituate MA has verbally committed to playing for the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2008-2009 school year. O’Brien is a 6’7 185 pound right hander who also drew interest from Florida and Vanderbilt before settling on the Bulldogs. The full article is available here.
The University of Florida has released head baseball coach Pat McMahon from his contract after back to back disappointing seasons. He led the Gators to the College World Series in 2005 but lost the championship series to Texas. Athletic Director Jeremy Foley (no relation) has announced a national search will begin immediately for a new coach.
Official Florida Release
GAINESVILLE – Sophomore right-hander Kyle Sweat tossed eight shutout innings as UCF (18-19) upended Florida (20-16), 6-2, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville. Sweat (3-2) retired the final 10 Gators he faced and did not surrender a hit after the fourth inning in matching the longest outing of his career. His teammates backed him with a 14-hit offensive attack, led by junior Dwayne Bailey (3-for-4). UF plated two runs in the ninth and had the potential tying run at the plate to close the contest.
Tyson Auer’s two-run single in the third inning kept UCF’s longest hitting streak of the season alive. Auer pushed it to 12 games by going 2-for-5 and also swiped his team-best 17th base vs. the Gators.
The Gators return to SEC action on Friday night when they face No. 9 Arkansas (25-10) in the opener of a weekend series at 8:05 p.m. in Fayetteville. Each team has an 8-4 mark in league play, with Florida leading the East and the Hogs on top in West. To celebrate the upcoming bye weekend in Conference USA play, UCF will host its annual UCF Baseball Golf Classic Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Shingle Creek Golf Club.
Matt LaPorta hit two three run homers and Austin Pride hit a grand slam to lead the Gators to a 16-7 victory over the Florida State Seminoles in a non-conference tilt in Jacksonville. The game drew a crowd of 12,280 which was only 663 people short of the stadium record. The Seminoles pitching staff was knocked around early on as they allowed ten runs over the first two innings. Seminoles starter Caleb Graham only lasted 1.2 innings while giving up six runs. He was followed by Travis Burge who only lasted 0.1 of an inning while giving up four runs on three hits. FSU returns to action on Friday when they visit NC State while Florida heads home to host South Carolina.
Tallahassee Democrat Recap
Tallahassee Democrat Article on Atmosphere
The Independent Florida Alligator Online Recap
The Florida Times -Union Recap
The Florida State Seminoles invaded Gainesville on Tuesday night and picked up a 14-6 victory. FSU starter Bo O’Dell only lasted 1.1 innings while giving up 4 runs (all earned). He was followed by Travis Burge and Brian Chambers. Burge lasted three innings giving up a single hit and one run. Mr. Chambers followed him by pitching 3.2 innings while only giving up one run. Danny Rosen pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the pitching line for the Noles. FSU was led on offense by Tony Thomas Jr. who went 3-5 in the lead off role while scoring three runs. D’Vontrey Richardson and Jason Stidham each had a home run in the game.
FSU Game Recap
Florida Game Recap
Tallahassee Democrat Recap
The Florida State Seminoles will be playing their first road game of the season with a visit to Gainesville to take on the Gators. FSU is entering the game with a number 2 ranking and a 9-0 record. The Gators are entering the game after taking 2 out of 3 from Miami and they have a 4-3 overall record.
Florida Game Notes
FSU Game Notes
Tallahassee Democrat Article about the Rivalry
The Gainesville Sun is reporting Matt LaPorta will be returning for his Senior year as he was not able to work out a deal with the Boston Red Sox who drafted him in the 14th round of this past year’s draft. LaPorta’s stock dropped dramatically this past season with only a .259 batting average after a super sophomore year when he was among the best players in the country. This is a huge story to see LaPorta return to the Gators lineup as they try to make the NCAA’s in the upcoming season.
Article can be seen here.
The SEC had a good day with The Florida Gators beating the Seminoles of Florida State 8-1 and Tennessee used a 2 run homer in the top of the ninth to knock off Georgia Tech 3-2. Florida got a complete game from Tommy Boss as he gave up 7 hits and only 1 run in his nine innings of work. The Florida offense was led by 3 consecutive solo homeruns by Jerolman, McArthur, and Leclerc to make the score 7-1 after five innings. This looked to me like the knockout punch by Florida tonight as FSU’s ace looked weak and the rest of the staff is suppose to be weaker. I think Florida will pull this off after this performance tonight. The Vols needed the Rob Fitzgerald homer in the top of the ninth off of Georgia Tech closer Matt Wieters to win the game. This was a must win game for the Vols as their ace Luke Hochevar pitched seven great innings allowing 5 hits and only 1 earned run. He struck out 11. The rest of this series should be interesting.