Gator Baseball's horrific exit in the Super Regional against Southern Miss falls squarely on the Florida pitching staff and Kevin O'Sullivan. While UF's pitchers could not hold down a lead, O'Sullivan appeared to have no idea who to use and when to use them. O'Sullivan's strength is his pitching background, but that can be a weakness too. Just as a pitcher rolls through his pitches to find an out pitch, O'Sullivan just kept rolling UF's pitchers, looking for a guy to lock it down. That he was doing this, two games away from Omaha, speaks as much about O'Sullivan as it does his pitchers.
As mentioned in our preview, Southern Miss could hit, and they did with 19 hits over the two game sweep. Not only that, they were able to chase UF's starters (Stephen Locke, Nick Maronde) early, exposing an awful UF bullpen. By comparison, Southern Miss was able to get five out of their starter Sunday, and the bullpen shut out the Gators. On Saturday, Southern Miss was able to scramble, with their pen allowing three runs in six innings.
The future is still bright for Gator Baseball. While Avery Barnes, Locke and Brandon McArthur are done, UF has a lot of young pitchers and SEC Co-freshman of The Year Preston Tucker returns. That said, they should have dominated Southern Miss. They were no better or worse than anyone else UF has played, just simply hotter.
This also ends the School Sports Year. While 2009 still has the Fall, time in college is measured August to June. The only true disappointment this school year was Basketball, and when that's it, you can say it was a good year.