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

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