Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Gator Baseball: February Recap

Entering 2016 with high expectations, the #1 Florida Gators have been an absolute thrill to watch as they went 7-1 in the month of February.

Starting the season 6-0, Florida did not taste defeat until Miami beat them 5-3 on a cool Saturday night in Coral Gables. This loss would not sting for too long though, as the Gators bounced back on Sunday to defeat the Hurricanes 7-3 and win a critical road series over their in-state rival. The Gators almost got more than just a regular win on Sunday as they were no-hitting the 'Canes through eight innings before Miami broke through with a base knock in the bottom of the ninth.

Despite taking two of three from Miami on the road (and nearly no-hitting them in the process), I would have to say my most memorable Gator game of February came on the 24th against Eastern Michigan.

Trailing by one in the ninth inning, the bottom of the Gator lineup was able to stage a one-out rally which culminated with Buddy Reed walking off the game via catcher's interference. Unable to watch this game on TV, I and some of my fraternity brothers had to kick it old school and listen to the game on the radio. 

Needless to say, it was quite a scene when we heard true freshman Nelson Maldonado tie the game and then heard the Gators win it one of the weirdest fashions imaginable.

Here are some other notable Gator performances this month:
  • 2/20 vs FGCU - Ryan Larson goes a perfect 4-4 with two doubles an RBI, and three runs scored.
  • 2/21 vs FGCU - True freshman Deacon Liput knocks in four RBI's as he bats a perfect 2-2.
  • 2/23 vs Eastern Michigan - Peter Alonso drives in four, smacks two doubles, and scores twice on a 2-3 night for the junior first baseman.
  • 2/26 @ #6 Miami - Logan Shore tosses the first complete game shutout of his career, allowing five hits and striking out eight.
  • 2/28 @ #6 Miami - Alex Faedo throws 6.1 no hit innings and posts a career-high 12 strikeouts.
And now, here are the Gator stat leaders of this young season:


Hits: Deacon Liput (12) (Freshman)

RBI's: Deacon Liput (12)

Doubles: Deacon Liput (4)

Triples: Deacon Liput/JJ Schwarz (2) (Sophomore)

Home Runs: JJ Schwarz (2)

Batting Average: Deacon Liput (.500)

Slugging %: Deacon Liput (.833)

On Base %: Deacon Liput (.613)

Stolen Bases: Buddy Reed (4) (Junior)

Runs Scored: JJ Schwarz (12)

Total Bases: Deacon Liput (20)

Strikeouts: Buddy Reed (7)

Walks:  JJ Schwarz (8)

Hit By Pitch: Peter Alonso/Jeremy Vasquez (2) (Junior/Sophomore)


AssistsDalton Guthrie (17) (Sophomore)

Putouts: Peter Alonso (53)

Errors: Jonathan India (2) (Freshman)

Fielding %: Deacon Liput/Jeremy Vasquez/JJ Schwarz/Buddy Reed/Ryan Larson (.1000) (Junior)


Wins: Logan Shore/Alex Faedo (2) (Junior/Sophomore)

Losses: A.J. Puk (1) (Junior)

Strikeouts: Alex Faedo (19)

Walks: Brady Singer (4) (Freshman)

Starting Pitcher ERA: Logan Shore (0.64)

Relieving Pitcher ERA: Kirby Snead (1.50) (Junior)

Shutouts: Logan Shore (1)

Saves: Dane Dunning (1) (Junior)

Appearances: Kirby Snead/Shaun Anderson/Nick Horvath (4) (Junior/Sophomore)

Innings Pitched: Logan Shore (14)

Final Takeaway:
As many of the stats indicate, true freshman Deacon Liput has been an integral part of this Gator team's success thus far. Hitting in the bottom third of the lineup, Liput constantly wreaks havoc with his speed and plate discipline.

It is also worth mentioning that his defensive prowess at second base is amazing as he has fielded a perfect 1.000 for the month. If he continues to stay hot at the plate and keeps making plays on the field, Sully may have no choice then to move him up in the lineup.

Another true freshman contributing to the Gator lineup is Jonathan India. Anchoring down the hot corner, India has done a great job holding his own defensively and in the nine-hole. His two errors may be the most on the team up to this point, but errors are a part of baseball, no matter how good you are. I can guarantee you India is going to find his stride both offensively and defensively as the Gators enter March.

Jonathan India's offensive production and defense will only get better as he gets more games under his belt. Photo credits: Anthony Tolomeo

Looking ahead to what March has in store for the #1 Gators, here's the schedule:

1st: @UCF
2nd: UCF
4th: Dartmouth
5th: Dartmouth
6th: Dartmouth
8th: @UNF
9th: UNF
11th: Harvard
12th: Harvard
13th: Harvard
15th: FSU
18th: Missouri*
19th: Missouri*
20th: Missouri*
22th: FAU
25th: @Kentucky*
26th: @Kentucky*
27th: @Kentucky*
29th: @FSU

As seen from above, the #1 Gators host three home series and travel to Lexington for their second road series of the year. SEC play will kick off with the Missouri series on March 18th.

Of all the in-state schools Florida plays in March, the obvious big one is Florida State. On March 15th, the Gators and Seminoles finally kick off their spaced out three-game series as the 'Noles come to Gainesville. They will also conclude the month against one another on March 29th as the two hook up for the second game in Jacksonville.

It's going to be another exciting month of Gator baseball and I can't wait to be there at nearly every game possible to watch it unfold. Go Gators!

*All stats accredited to

Sunday, February 28, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Wins Road Series vs #6 Miami

The #1 Florida Gators bounced back from last night's loss and defeated the #6 Miami Hurricanes 7-3 to win their first road series of the year.

Gator starter Alex Faedo improved to 2-0 after a phenomenal pitching performance today. Mirroring Shore's gem on Friday night, Faedo took it right to Miami's lineup as he tossed 6.1 no-hit innings, allowed no runs, and struck out a career-high 12 batters! In fact, only three Hurricane baserunners reached against him by means of two walks and an error.

Faedo unfortunately would not be able to complete his no-no as coach Kevin O'Sullivan pulled him from the game after 93 pitches. This was a very smart move in my opinion as there is a long season ahead and the Gators were up 4-0 at this point.

Alex Faedo had Hurricane hitters off-balance all game long. Photo credits: Anthony Tolomeo

Coming in for relief was lefty Kirby Snead, who kept the no-hitter intact for his 1.2 innings of work. The junior threw very well as he struck out three and walked just one on 25 pitches.

Kirby Snead dealing out of the bullpen. Photo credits: Anthony Tolomeo

Coming in to close the no-hitter out in the ninth was junior Shaun Anderson. Unfortunately, it was not Shaun's best outing as Miami finally broke through for their first hit of the game with no outs. To make matters worse, the 'Canes strung together a few hits and ended up scoring three runs (two of which were earned) off of Anderson.

Sully would not let this get any further as he called on junior Dane Dunning for the final two outs of the game. Dunning would deliver and end the madness as he recorded the final two outs via strikeout and groundout on eight pitches.

Offensively, the Florida lineup took a complete 180ยบ turn from last night as they banged out 12 hits and plated seven runs. Five different Gators had two hits in today's game, with four of those players residing in the top of the lineup.

Leadoff man Dalton Guthrie led off the game with a single and finished 2-4 with two RBI's and two runs scored. In the three-hole, designated hitter JJ Schwarz started to find his stroke as he went 2-3 with a triple, a game-high three RBI's, and two runs scored.

JJ Schwarz is slowly returning to the dangerous offensive form we saw during his freshman season. Photo credits: Anthony Tolomeo

Batting cleanup, Peter Alonso went 2-4 and notched one RBI on the day. After him, Jeremy Vasquez batted 2-3 in the fifth spot but did not score or drive anyone home. Rounding out the multi-hitters in the seven-hole, freshman Deacon Liput had a 2-3 performance while also scoring once.

The Gator defense was a tad bit shaky as both Peter Alonso and Dalton Guthrie committed an error a piece, but both of these gaffes came with no runners on and only Guthrie's came back to haunt the Gators when UM tried to stage a last-ditch rally in the ninth.

Final Takeaway:
This is a huge series win for the #1 Florida Gators to start out the season. To come in to Coral Gables and get two masterful pitching performances from your ace and your Sunday guy, as well as some solid offensive production from the lineup, has got to have the Gators in high spirits as they embark on the long trip back to Gainesville (depending if you are flying or driving).

Here are some of my final tidbits from both this game and the series as a whole:

  • Shaun Anderson faced and struck out his former teammate in Zack Collins during the ninth inning today. Both of them played high school ball together at American Heritage (Plantation).
  • Jon India and Buddy Reed were the other two Gators with hits today. 
  • Mike Rivera had a tough series as he went 0-11 with one RBI.
  • Buddy Reed drew a team-high two walks today.
  • The Gators only struck out twice today (Jeremy Vasquez and Nelson Maldonado), which is substantially better than the nine punch outs they had last night.
  • The Florida pitching staff struck out 17 Miami Hurricanes in the game.
  • Miami's Christopher Barr broke up the no-hitter with a single over shortstop Dalton Guthrie's head and with the bases loaded Johnny Ruiz delivered a bases-clearing double to avoid the shutout.
  • All three of Miami's hits came off of Shaun Anderson.
  • Florida has now won six of the last seven regular season series against Miami. The last time Miami won a series vs Florida was in 2014, my freshman year at UF. The last time Miami swept Florida in a series was 2009.

Despite dropping one game in Coral Gables, Florida (7-1) should still remain #1 in the rankings come Monday. With a day of recovery/practice on Monday, the Gators will prepare for a home-and-home mini-series against the UCF Knights (6-2).

The Gators will travel to Orlando for Tuesday's game against the Knights before coming back to Gainesville for the final game on Wednesday. The probable pitchers at this time are unknown, but the times for the games are 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Tuesday's game is not televised, but Wednesday's game can bee seen on the SEC Network.

As for "the U', it is disheartening to have one of your arch rivals come into your ballpark and win a series. They are fortunate enough to not have been no-hit at home for the first time in school history or shut out for the second time this season. Looking to use Monday as a period of reflection and a time to get back on track, Miami (5-2) will prepare to face the Miami Marlins (0-0) in a spring training exhibition game in Jupiter on Tuesday.

Afterwards, they will face the FGCU Eagles (2-5) at home for one game before hosting the Manhattan Jaspers (1-2) in a three-game weekend series.

*All stats accredited to

Gator Basketball: February Recap

The Florida Gators are in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year after a dreadful 3-5 stint in the month of February. Not once this month did the Gators string together successive wins, but they did find a way to drop two straight games at the O-Dome (Alabama on the 13th and Vandy on the 24th) and finish February on a three-game losing streak. 

Besides Kentucky and Vandy, every loss this month has been by single digits. Likewise, all three of Florida's wins were by five points or less. The Gators have not been the same since their upset of #9 West Virginia at the end of January, and I have no explanation for the team's inconsistent play this month.

Despite a winning percentage of .375, let's see how the Gators fared in other statistical categories for the month of February:


PointsDorian Finney-Smith (431) (Redshirt Senior)

AssistsChris Chiozza (126) (Sophomore)

Shooting % (100 attempts min.)John Egbugnu (.565) (Redshirt Sophomore)

Three-Pointers (100 attempts min.): Dorian Finney-Smith (59)

Three-Point % (100 attempts min.): Dorian Finney-Smith (.393)

Free Throws
: Dorian Finney-Smith (98)

Free Throw % (10 attempts min.)KeVaughn Allen (.830) (Freshman)

ReboundsJohn Egbugnu (77) (Redshirt Sophomore)


Rebounds: Dorian Finney-Smith (171)

Blocks: John Egbugnu (44)

StealsKasey Hill (38) (Junior)


Personal Fouls: John Egbugnu (95)

Minutes: Dorian Finney-Smith (919)

Turnovers: Dorian Finney-Smith (60)

Final Takeaway:
With two games (Kentucky at home on March 1st and Missouri on the road on March 5th) remaining in the regular season, the Gators' tournament chances look very bleak. I am not expecting a win vs Kentucky on senior night, but Missouri should be a very winnable game.

If Florida finishes the season 18-13 (9-9) and fares well in the SEC Tournament, then they may have a shot at making it to the Big Dance. If they drop both games, I think that an NIT invite will be looming for the Gators unless they somehow pull off a miracle and win the SEC Tournament.

That's why they play the games though. We will see what happens in college basketball's craziest month.

*All stats accredited to

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Suffers First Loss of the Year to #6 Miami

The #1 Florida Gators lost their first game of the 2016 season to the #6 Miami Hurricanes by a score of 5-3 tonight. For the second straight year, A.J. Puk (1-1) had a bad outing against Miami as he earned his first loss of the year.

Throwing 62 pitches in 2.2 innings of work, Puk allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits while hitting two batters and striking out five. He also made a crucial error while fielding a bunt in the second inning that helped stoke the fire for Miami's rally.

After Puk exited the game with two outs and the bases loaded, freshman Brady Singer came on in relief. Singer worked out of the jam, but his 3.1 innings of relief were by no means pretty. He allowed two runs on two hits, walked three, hit a batter, and struck out one. He threw a grand total of 52 pitches.

Relieving Singer for the final two innings were Nick Horvath (0.2), Frank Rubio (0.1), and Michael Byrne (1.0), who all scattered two hits with Byrne recording the lone strikeout.

The Gator offense was polar opposite from Friday night as Miami's Michael Mediavilla (2-0) somehow shut this lineup down. The top of the lineup supplied all of the run production as Dalton Guthrie, Buddy Reed, and JJ Schwarz accounted for all three of Florida's runs. Buddy and JJ were the only Gators with multiple hits as they both went 2-5 with one RBI a piece. Jeremy Vasquez was the only other player to drive a runner home.

Despite such a lackluster performance, Florida still had a chance at the very end to tie the game down 5-3 with Buddy Reed on second and JJ Schwarz up to bat. But alas, the Gators did not have enough in the tank as Schwarz struck out swinging to end the game.

Final Takeaway:
With the series even at one a piece, #1 Florida and #6 Miami will duke it out in a rubber match to determine the winner of one of the most competitive series in college baseball. Before I announce the starters and game time for tomorrow, here are some other tidbits from UF's loss tonight:
  • The Gators left nine men on base, included the bases loaded in the top of the second inning.
  • Michael Mediavilla was by no means dominant, but the lefty did enough for five innings as he gave up just two hits and allowed one run while striking out four.
  • Miami's junior catcher, Zack Collins, was the main offensive force for the Hurricanes tonight as he went 2-4 and drove in four runs. His teammate Johnny Ruiz also batted a perfect 3-3.
  • The Gators struck out nine times. JJ Schwarz (3), Ryan Larson (2), and Jon India (2) were among those with multiple K's on the night.
  • Puk's 2016 and 2015 starts vs Miami are eerily similar as he went less than three innings, gave up three runs, and picked up his first loss in both contests.
  • The home plate umpire was yet again very inconsistent with his strike zone tonight.
  • The WatchESPN announcers and camerawork are mediocre at best.

I did not expect the Gators to go undefeated because this is baseball, a sport where any team can win on any given day. A loss to Miami (5-1) is definitely deflating to a degree, but Florida (6-1) still has a chance to walk out of Coral Gables with a series win tomorrow.

Sophomore righty Alex Faedo (1-0) will be tasked with bringing home the first road series victory of the season. His opponent will be yet another lefty in junior Danny Garcia (1-0). Game time is 1 p.m. and it can only be seen on ESPN3 (unfortunately).

*All stats accredited to

Saturday, February 27, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Blanks #6 Miami in Series Opener

The #1 Florida Gators improved to 6-0 on the season and have now won their last three games against the Miami Hurricanes with a 5-0 win at Alex Rodriguez Park tonight.

Gator ace Logan Shore (2-0) threw perhaps one of the most dominating games of his collegiate career in his first-ever start against the #6 Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables. Notching the second win of his junior season, Shore threw the first ever complete game shutout of his career. Hurricane hitters could not figure him out as he struck out eight, allowed four hits, and hit one batter. He threw 95 total pitches and faced 28 batters, just one over the minimum!

Shore's only burdensome inning came in the fourth when the first two Miami batters reached base and a fearsome hitter in Zack Collins was up to bat. After falling behind Collins 2-0, Shore battled back and induced a shallow fly out. With Jacob Heyward (the younger brother of major leaguer Jason Heyward) up to bat, Shore again made things easier for himself as he picked off Christopher Barr from first base for the second out of the inning.

For a grand finale, Heyward cranked a pitch to deep right field for what looked like a two-run home run. Yet somehow, Jeremy Vasquez was able to track the ball down and catch it right at the wall for the final out of the inning. Somehow Shore and the #1 ranked Gators had averted disaster, and this would prove to be a pivotal missed opportunity that the Hurricanes would not be able to overcome.

Logan Shore is greeted with a high five after putting up another scoreless inning of work.

Offensively, Florida's lineup gave Shore all the run support he needed in the first inning. With two outs and the count 2-2, first baseman Peter Alonso crushed a ball off the left field scoreboard for a two-run home run. He would be the only Gator with multiple hits as he finished the night 2-3 with two RBI's, two runs scored, and a walk.

Joining the home run club again was JJ Schwarz. Going 1-2 on the night, the sophomore's only hit of the game was a memorable one that came in the sixth inning. With no outs and the count 2-1, JJ smoked a pitch that also caromed off the left field scoreboard to extend the Gator lead to 5-0. Like Alonso, Schwarz scored twice and also drew two walks in the game.

The final big offensive contributor for the Gators tonight was freshman Deacon Liput. With two outs in the fourth inning and Gators on second and third, Liput hit a soft single to score both runners and push the lead to 4-0.

Deacon Liput locked in and focused at the plate.

This was a huge AB for the freshman considering that this was his first true road game and the count was 2-2. I was beyond ecstatic to see him come through in such a big moment. The single would be his lone hit of the night as he went 1-3 with the two RBI's and a walk.

Final Takeaway:
Logan Shore was amazing, but I will tip my hat to one Hurricane player. Carl Chester, the sophomore centerfielder out of Lake Brantley, somehow cracked the Logan Shore enigma as he was responsible for three of Miami's four hits. Had Chester's mojo rubbed off on his teammates, I would probably be writing about a totally different game right now.

Some other tidbits worth mentioning:
  • JJ Schwarz's bomb was his second of the year.
  • Freshman Danny Reyes came in to pinch hit and almost notched his first collegiate home run when he smoked a ball all the way to the warning track.
  • The umpires tonight were terrible as they missed a few safe/out calls and the ump behind home plate had a very inconsistent strike zone.
  • Devin Meyer, who I actually played against and got a hit off of in high school, made his Miami debut today. He did well as he retired all three Gators that he faced. 
  • I was blessed to be able to attend tonight's game and see all this unfold in person with my father, my brother, and one of his best friends.

Briefly previewing Game 2 tomorrow, the #1 Gators (6-0) will throw junior lefty A.J. Puk (0-0) as they look to win the series. The #6 'Canes (4-1) will counter with a lefty as well as they will throw sophomore Michael Mediavilla (1-0). Game time is at 7 p.m. and it can be seen on ESPN3.

*All stats accredited to

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Routes Eastern Michigan 12-4

#1 Florida remained undefeated after romping the Eastern Michigan Eagles 12-4 last night. Junior righty Dane Dunning was called upon for his first start of the year and was able to pick up his first win of 2016.

Dunning only threw 3.2 innings, but was still somehow eligible for the win at this point with the Gators leading 9-2 in the contest. His final stat line was four hits allowed, two earned runs allowed, two walks, and two strikeouts on 74 pitches.

Relieving Dunning in the fourth, freshman flame thrower Brady Singer came in and allowed one hit while walking one and striking out two in 1.1 innings pitched.

After Singer was junior Shaun Anderson, who threw two innings of one-hit relief while striking out three.

In the eighth, junior lefty Kirby Snead took the mound and allowed just one hit and one unearned run while striking out two.

Shutting it down in the ninth, the fifth Gator pitcher of the night in 6'7 freshman lefty Hunter Bowling came in and mercifully ended this game. He allowed one earned run, walked one, and struck out two.

Offensively, this is the second consecutive game where the Gators have scored 12 runs! It was such a blowout by the final three innings that the entire starting lineup was subbed out! Everyone who was not solely just a pitcher was able to get action in this game.

Banging out 12 hits tonight, the Gator lineup saw five players with multi-hit games. At the top of the lineup, sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie went 2-3 with an RBI. Right behind him in the two-hole, junior center fielder Buddy Reed went 2-3 with a triple, a walk, and three runs scored.

Buddy Reed just moments away before belting a triple of the left field wall.

After Reed, sophomore catcher JJ Schwarz finally ended his home run drought as he parked a two-run bomb out into left field in the bottom of the fourth. He would end the game a perfect 2-2 with two RBI's, three runs scored, and a walk.

In the five-hole, junior first baseman Peter Alonso might have been taking out the anger he may have been feeling from the midterm he and I had to take in our history class earlier that day. He went 2-3 as he smacked two doubles, knocked in four RBI's, scored twice, and walked once.

The final multi-hit Gator was freshman second baseman Deacon Liput, who went 2-3 with a double and an RBI.

Final Takeaway:
Sophomore right fielder Jeremy Vasquez had no official at-bat in last night's game as he was hit twice and walked once. The first hit by pitch was completely on accident in the first inning while the second one was most likely intentional considering it came after a JJ Schwarz home run.

Of the eight defensive subs that O'Sullivan inserted into the game, only sophomore catchers Mike Rivera and Mark Kolozsvary obtained hits. Of those two, it was actually Kolozsvary who assumed duties behind the plate as Rivera manned third base.

Here is my final tidbit. Senior infielder Jason Lombardozzi, a mechanical engineering major who always reps the baseball team on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, came so close to hitting his first career home run after belting a shot to left field that came up just short at the warning track.

I felt for the guy after missing out on a dinger by just mere inches, and I hope that the Gators smash a few other teams this season so Lombardozzi can get another chance to put one out.

As expected, the Gators (4-0) won this one easily and everyone (23 players in fact) had a chance to have some fun and pad their stats. Back at it again (don't start with the "Damn Daniel") with Eastern Michigan (3-2) on Wednesday, #1 Florida will look to get a mini-sweep. This game will be in Lakeland (for some reason) at Joker Marchant Stadium and game time is at 7:00 p.m. Probable pitchers are unknown.

*All stats accredited to & the official Twitter account of Florida Gator Baseball

Sunday, February 21, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Defeats FGCU 8-4

The #1 Florida Gators improved to 2-0 after defeating the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 8-4 in today's contest. The highly touted A.J. Puk started the contest, but the junior lefty had a tough time getting settled in as the Eagles put up a four-spot against him in the third inning. It did not help either that the Eagles' rally started on a throwing error from Puk to first base.

After striking out the side in the fourth inning, Puk was pulled from the game and in position for what could have been an early season loss. He finished with a stat line of 70 pitches, six strikeouts, one walk, four runs allowed (none of them earned), and four hits allowed in four innings of work.

Relieving him was freshman righty Brady Singer. Topping out at 95 mph, Brady held it down for three innings as he struck out three and gave up no hits on route to his first win of the season as well as his collegiate career. Apart from two hit batsmen, Brady's debut was a near perfect one.

In the eighth inning, sophomore lefty Nick Horvath (a transfer from Santa Fe), came in and recorded one strike out as he retired all three batters he faced.

Closing the game out was junior righty Frank Rubio (who is actually a friend of mine). Sporting a new sidearm delivery this season, Frank was unhittable as he recorded two strikeouts and put away all three hitters he faced.

As great as the bullpen was, the Gator offense showed up in a big way today as they banged out 15 hits!

Junior left fielder Ryan Larson led the way as he went a perfect 4-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and three runs scored. In fact, the entire outfield had multiple hits as junior center fielder Buddy Reed went 2-5 with a stolen base and sophomore right fielder Jeremey Vasquez went 2-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Among the infielders, sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie went 2-5, freshman second baseman Deacon Liput went 2-4 with his first collegiate triple, three RBI's, a run scored, and his first collegiate stolen base. Rounding it out, fellow freshman third baseman Jon India only had one hit, but also recorded three RBI's, a sacrifice fly, and his first collegiate stolen base as well.

Final Takeaway:
In addition to the 15 hits, Florida accomplished another amazing feat as no UF hitter went down on strikes! Also, the Gators' best player, sophomore catcher JJ Schwarz, recorded his first hit of the season today when he smoked a triple off of the right field wall. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come tomorrow as #1 Florida goes for their first sweep of the season. Sophomore righty Alex Faedo (0-0) will be toeing the rubber against redshirt sophomore rigthy Mario Leon. Game time is at 1 p.m.

*All stats accredited to

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gator Basketball: January Recap

I want to begin this article with an apology. Here we are halfway through February and I am just now putting out the Gator basketball recap for the month of January. Between BYX (my fraternity), school, my ongoing illness, and various other things, it's hard to write as often as I used to. Regardless, I always think it's better to put something out late than to never write it. So without further adieu, let's revisit Gator basketball during the first month of 2016.

Florid kicked off SEC play in January and did fairly well as they posted a 5-3 record against SEC opponents. They closed out the month with their final non-conference game against the #9 West Virginia Mountaineers and shocked all of the college basketball world with a dominating 88-71 home victory!

In addition to upsetting West Virginia, the Gators also defeated LSU and the potential #1 NBA Draft pick in Ben Simmons. Despite the 68-62 victory, Florida really had no answer for Simmons as the freshman racked up 28 points and 17 rebounds. He was a complete beast in this game and a sheer joy to watch in person!

Ben Simmons at half court.

Excluding the 13-point loss against Tennessee (trust me it was not as close as the score may indicate), both Gator losses in January were by three points or less. On the flip side, Florida beat three teams (Georgia, Auburn, and West Virginia) by double-digits with their biggest margin of victory being 32 against Auburn.

Now, here are the Gator stat leaders from January. Keep in mind that these stats will include four games from February, but regardless there should still be a good indication as to who dominated in January.


Points: Dorian Finney-Smith (385) (Redshirt Senior)

AssistsChris Chiozza (114) (Sophomore)

Shooting % (100 minutes min.): Kevarrius Hayes (.581) (Freshman)

Three-Pointers (10 attempts min.): Dorian Finney-Smith (51)

Three-Point % (10 attempts min.): Justin Leon (.474) (Junior)

Free Throws
: Dorian Finney-Smith (86)

Free Throw % (10 attempts min.): KeVaughn Allen (.841) (Freshman)

ReboundsJohn Egbugnu (71) (Redshirt Sophomore)


Rebounds: Dorian Finney-Smith (144)

Blocks: John Egbugnu (37)

Steals: Kasey Hill (16) (Junior)


Personal Fouls: John Egbugnu (84)

Minutes: Dorian Finney-Smith (779)

Turnovers: Dorian Finney-Smith (53)

Final Takeaway:
The Gators had a decent January with a 6-3 record overall. February has been a little more trickier with a 2-2 start. With three of the next four games being on the road, the Gators could easily finish this month under .500. Still, they are sitting pretty for an NCAA Tournament bid and as long as the team doesn't completely collapse this month, Gator fans everywhere should be seeing the Orange and Blue play meaningful games this March.