I'm not someone who has ever really gotten into Gators baseball, at least since the days of Wilkerson -- who happened to hit a homerun on his first AB at the first ever UF baseball game I attended -- but from what I've read about the 2007 team, we could be in for an interesting year. The Gators opening game is on Friday (the 9th) at 6:30 pm against VMI.
Now two seasons removed from a CWS run that took them to the title series against the Texas Longhorns, the Gators will try to rebound after an extremely disappointing 2006 campaign in which they finished 28-28 and did not make the postseason. The Gators began the '06 season ranked number 1 and started out with a bang, only to watch it fall apart as the season went on.
So what should we expect this season? As someone who is not confident in my abilities to break down what the Gators bring to the table in 2007, I will direct you to this Gatorzone article that will tell you everything you need to know about this season's team.
LA...PORTA (GatorZone Photo)
From the looks of it, the Gators will be getting some key players back this season, including a few players who sat out last season due to injuries. This season you will see guys like Matt LaPorta, Bryan Augenstein, Jared Kubin, Brian LeClerc, Stephen Locke and Brandon McArthur back on the field. When you combine these returning players who have made impacts in the past with a pretty strong recruiting class, the Gators could surprise some people on the diamond this season.
The SEC coaches don't really think that will be the case though, picking them to come in last in the East division this season. The Gators were the cellar-dwellers in conference last season, finishing 10-20.
One thing that I think Florida fans are very pumped for this season is the additions made to McKethan Stadium down the left field line. The stadium renovation is complete and all ready to go, which should make McKethan Stadium a very good venue this season.