The #5 Miami Hurricanes travel to Gainesville this weekend for a pretty big series between the two-state rivals.
After two straight losses to start the season against Mercer, the Hurricanes came back with a bang to sweep the visiting #11 UCLA Bruins in a 3-game set. The Hurricanes should be hungry to beat the Gators, as UF has a 5-game winning streak against their rivals from South Florida.
Florida swept the 3-game series between the two teams last season in Coral Gables.
Here's a quick glance at the 3-game set this weekend:
Friday, 6:30 pm - No TV
UM Starter: LHP Scott Maine 1-0, 0.00
UF Starter: RHP Bryan Augenstein 0-1, 3.00
Scott Maine picked up the win for the Hurricanes last Friday night against UCLA, pitching 5 innings and only giving up 2 hits. He also struck out 5 Bruins in the process and only walked 1. The Bruins could only compile a .111 BA against Maine in the game, as the lefty only threw a total of 73 pitches.
The Gators have hit lefties well in their 4 games this season, going 19 for 51 (.373).
Bryan Augenstein is coming off a loss at the hands of the VMI Keydets, despite only giving up 2 ER over 6 innings. In the game he scattered 5 strikeouts, while giving up a total of 7 hits. Augenstein threw 101 through the 6 innings, but took the loss due to 3 unearned VMI runs.
Saturday, 2:00 pm - No TV
UM Starter: RHP Danny Gil 0-0, 6.75
UF Starter: LHP Stephen Locke 0-1, 10.38
Gil has yet to pick up a decision on the season, having appeared in 2 starts this season. In his first start against Mercer he gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and 4 BBs for the no-decision. In his second start against UCLA last Saturday, Danny scattered 4 hits over 5 innings, giving up 3 runs while striking out 8 batters. Over 9.1 Gil has given up 7 runs while striking out 12 and walking 7.
Stephen Locke started his first game since the 2005 CWS last Saturday, and did not see the success that he wanted to. Over 4.1 IP Locke gave up 9 hits and 6 runs to VMI. Hopefully we can see him bounce back against the 'Canes lineup on Saturday.
1:00 pm - Sun Sports
UM Starter: Manny Miguelez 0-0, 2.25
UF Starter: Billy Bullock 1-0, 0.00
Miguelez has made two starts this season for the 'Canes, having not picked up any decisions along the way. Although he is yet to pick up a W this season, he has had two very efficient starts. In his two appearances for the Canes he has pitched 12 innings and only giving up 3 hits. He has only walked 2 batters on the mound as well.
Billy Bullock had a great outing for the Gators in their lone win against VMI, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings. He only gave up 4 hits and struck out the same number in the appearance. Bullock is a freshman that could put together two good back to back outings. If he does, the future will look very bright for this kid.
At the plate, Miami brings several guys that could change the game with their bats.
1B Yonder Alonso has appeared in all 5 games for the 'Canes, hitting .615 with 3 homers and walking 9 times. That, my friends, is quite impressive. The Gators will have to try and avoid letting him get the big hit at all costs.
The Gators have their own big-hitting 1B in Matt LaPorta, who recently became the all-time career homerun leader in UF history. In the 4 games this season he is batting .588 (10-17) with 2 homers.
'Canes CF Blake Tekotte is hitting .389 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs in 5 games this season. He should compliment Alonso this weekend as a pretty dangerous hitter from the plate.
The Gators should have a good option out of the bullpen in Josh Edmondson, who is yet to give up a run to the opposition in relief this season. He has appeared in 2 games this season, going 5.1 innings and only giving up 2 hits. Opposing batters are only hitting .125 against Edmondson.
The Canes got a very good relief appearance out of Eric Erickson against UCLA, going 4 innings and not giving up any runs. He struck out 5 in the game.
Should be an interesting series. Miami has been tested by a good UCLA team and came out unharmed, while the Gators showed some struggles in their first series against VMI. On that same note, though, the Canes did lose two to Mercer.
The weather will be cold and you just never know what to expect in college baseball. Hopefully we can take at least take 2 from this weekend's festivities.