Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Gator Baseball: March Recap

The No. 2 Florida Gators (24-3, 4-2 in SEC play) had a spectacular March as they racked up 16 straight wins and finished the month 17-2. Both of those losses came in back-to-back games against the Kentucky Wildcats (17-7, 4-2 in SEC play) this past weekend and ended what had been a 17-game winning streak for the Gators.

Florida swept three series during the month (Dartmouth, Harvard, and Missouri) and lost its first series of the season to Kentucky in Lexington. Against in-state competition (UCF, UNF, FSU, and FAU), the Gators went a perfect 7-0. The most memorable of these victories came over Florida State (18-6, 6-1 in ACC play) by scores of 6-0 in Gainesville on March 15th and 3-2 in Jacksonville on March 29th. With the victory against the Seminoles yesterday, Florida has clinched the season series over their rival!

Without hesitation I would have to say that the home shutout victory over No. 11 FSU is my game of the month, but let's relive some other notable Gator baseball games from March:

  • 3/4 vs Dartmouth - Fresh off a shutout of the No. 6 Miami Hurricanes (20-4, 7-2 in ACC play), Gator ace Logan Shore was once again brilliant as he tossed seven shutout innings of one hit baseball. No. 1 Florida won handedly 7-0.
  • 3/5 vs Dartmouth - In a twelve-inning affair, Buddy Reed hit a walk-off home run to right field to give the No. 1 Gators a thrilling 4-3 victory.
  • 3/11 vs Harvard - True freshman Deacon Liput notched a career-high four hits as the No. 1 Gators shelled the Crimson 16-5.
  • 3/12 vs Harvard - Alex Faedo threw a gem as he struck out a career-high 13 batters and allowed just two hits in 8.1 innings of one-run ball. No. 1 Florida would win the contest 3-1.
  • 3/18 vs No. 23 FAU - Nelson Maldonado's unofficial two-run inside-the-park home run (it was a triple with a throwing error) proved to be all of No.1 Florida's offense as the Gators defeated the Owls 2-1 on a cool Tuesday evening in Gainesville.
  • 3/22 vs Missouri - In the bottom of the tenth inning, Peter Alonso played the role of hero and singled with the bases loaded to give the No. 1 Gators another 4-3 walk off victory along with their first SEC win of the season.
  • 3/27 @ Kentucky - In the most puzzling of endings you will ever see, the Kentucky Wildcats stunned the No. 1 team in the country and walked off in the bottom of the tenth via a wild pitch to win the game (and the series) 5-4.
  • 3/29 vs No. 9 FSU - In their second meeting of the season, No. 2 Florida prevailed yet again over No. 9 FSU behind a two-run home run from Mike Rivera and a solid outing from freshman starter Jackson Kowar.

With the big games recapped, let's look at the Gators' stat leaders through the first two months of the season:


Hits: Dalton Guthrie (39) (Sophomore)

RBI's: Peter Alonso/Mike Rivera (28) (Junior/Sophomore)

Doubles: Peter Alonso (9)

Triples: Buddy Reed/Deacon Liput (3) (Junior/Freshman)

Home Runs: Mike Rivera (6)

Batting Average: Dalton Guthrie (.358)

Slugging Percentage: Mike Rivera (.575)

On Base Percentage: JJ Schwarz (.442) (Sophomore)

Stolen Bases: Buddy Reed (12)

Runs Scored: JJ Schwarz (24)

Total Bases: Peter Alonso (52)

Strikeouts: Buddy Reed (24)

Walks:  JJ Schwarz (23)

Hit By Pitch: Peter Alonso (5)


Assists: Dalton Guthrie (70)

Putouts: Peter Alonso (213)

ErrorsJonathan India (5) (Freshman)

Fielding Percentage: Buddy Reed/JJ Schwarz/Jeremy Vasquez/Nelson Maldonado (.1000) (Sophomore/Freshman)


Wins: Logan Shore/Alex Faedo (5) (Junior/Sophomore)

LossesA.J. Puk (2) (Junior)

Strikeouts: Alex Faedo (53)

Walks: A.J. Puk (12)

Starting Pitcher ERA: Alex Faedo (2.70)

Relieving Pitcher ERAKirby Snead (0.56) (Junior)

Shutouts: Logan Shore (1)

Saves: Shaun Anderson (4) (Junior)

Appearances: Kirby Snead (15)

Innings Pitched: Logan Shore (37.1)

Final Takeaway:
The series loss to Kentucky dropped the Gators just one spot in the polls to No. 2. Fittingly enough, they have a chance to take the top spot back as the No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies (22-3, 4-2 in SEC play) come to the Mac for a weekend series. This is going to probably be the best series of the year from the perspective of an SEC college baseball fan. It could also be seen as a realistic preview of the SEC Championship in May.

Regardless of what happens vs TAMU at home this weekend, No. 2 Florida has a bunch on its plate in April. Here's what the schedule looks like:

1st: No. 1 Texas A&M*
2nd: No. 1 Texas A&M*
3rd: No. 1 Texas A&M*
5th: Jacksonville
8th: No. 11 Mississippi State*
9th: No. 11 Mississippi State*
10th: No. 11 Mississippi State*
12th: @ No. 9 FSU
14th: @ No. 18 Arkansas*
15th: @ No. 18 Arkansas*
16th: @ No. 18 Arkansas*
19th: Jacksonville
22nd: Georgia*
23rd: Georgia*
24th: Georgia*
29th: @ No. 5 South Carolina*

As the schedule indicates, this is the start of the gauntlet for Florida as SEC play gets rolling. Four series (two home and two away) with some in-state opponents sprinkled in the mix makes for a very entertaining month of April.

Per usual, I will try to be at every home game and give my thoughts on how the Gators played as they keep pushing towards a return trip to Omaha. It's been a great start so far, let's keep it rolling boys!

*All stats accredited to

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