The Gators' first of four games against the Seminoles begins tonight in Tampa as the second half of "The Florida Four." The doubleheader at Steinbrenner Field begins with Miami vs. USF at 4pm and UF vs. FSU following at about 7:30pm. Florida (5-0) and FSU (6-0) are each in college baseball's top-10 rankings.
The Gators are hitting well to start the season, while their pitching does enough to keep guys from scoring. Tonight's starter, RHP Anthony DeSclafani is an example. In his only start on Feb. 21 against USF, DeSclafani allowed four hits and a hit by pitch in 4.1 innings. But he had four strikeouts and no walks, not allowing a run. DeSclafani was the Sunday starter in the USF series and with the LaSalle series canceled last weekend, it makes sense for DeSclafani to get the ball.
As much as FSU is a rival, this is still a midweek game. Both UF and FSU have taken that approach in recent years. DeSclafani, as a sophomore, needs the experience. FSU sending RHP Geoff Parker to the mound is in the same mind set. Parker has given up five runs, five hits, three walks, three doubles and hit two batters in only 4 IP. He does have four strikeouts, a sign of a pitcher with a straight fastball; high speed and no movement.