Two games is hardly enough to assess how a team will perform in the future, but the Gators 2-0 mark in their opening series against top-ten Louisville looks damn good. After winning 6-3 against the Cardinals on Friday night, the Gators won game two 10-4. Today in Gainesville is the series finale.
Saturday's game was notable for the strong performance by freshman southpaw Alex Panteliodis. He allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, with only one walk. Three other pitchers each got an inning in relief. Senior Brandon McArthur's three-run double in the fourth inning broke the game open and Louisville never mounted a serious challenge.
In the opener, Patrick Keating had seven strikeouts while allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. Billy Bullock, who struggled a lot last year, got the six out save.
When Florida made their run to Omaha in 2005, they were powered by pitching. That staff included Connor Falkenbach, Alan Horne and Darren O'Day, who are all in Major League camps this spring. It's a bit of a stretch to expect a team who may have two freshmen in their weekend rotation to reach Omaha. But if Panteliodis is the lead, essentially working as a ground ball pitcher, maybe there is something there.
Florida softball has started strong with a 12-2 record. Their only losses have been 1-0 outings against top-five teams in Baylor and Washington.
By the way, I hope you got a chance to see Conan O'Brien's last "Late Night" show. Here is his favorite sketch; "Old Time Baseball" from my birthplace of Bethpage, NY.