Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 Gator Baseball: April Recap

The No. 1 Florida Gators (37-7, 14-6 in SEC play) finished the month of April with a 13-4 record. They won three SEC series (sweeping No. 1 Texas A&M and Arkansas while taking two out of three from Georgia) and lost just one series at home to the No. 10 Mississippi State Bulldogs.

In non-conference play, the Gators remained perfect. They defeated Jacksonville twice at home and conquered No. 6 Florida State in Tallahassee to sweep the season series against the 'Noles.

My "Game of the Month" honors has to go to the April 29th contest against No. 5 South Carolina. With Florida down 4-3 in the top of the ninth inning, freshman Jonathan India and sophomore Nick Horvath both hit solo home runs to win the game 5-4. It was an incredible comeback in a hostile road environment that allowed Florida to leave Columbia with a 1-1 series split (Game 3 was cancelled due to inclement weather).

The victory over South Carolina was not the only memorable Gator baseball game in April. Let's take a look at a few others:

  • 4/3 vs No. 1 Texas A&M - Down 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gators staged an incredible two-out rally and plated four runs on route to a 10-7 victory and a series sweep over the Aggies.
  • 4/9 vs No. 10 Mississippi State - In one of the most brutal Gator baseball games I had ever witnessed live, Mississippi State tagged Florida starter Alex Faedo for nine runs in three innings as the Bulldogs crushed the Gators 10-4. This loss snapped the Gators' 29-game winning streak at McKethan Stadium. 
  • 4/12 @ No. 6 FSU - After losing in Tallahassee by way of a walk-off home run last year, the Gators flipped the script this time around and soundly beat the Seminoles 8-2 to secure the first series sweep since 2013.
  • 4/22 vs Georgia - Initially a pitcher's duel between MLB prospects A.J. Puk and Robert Tyler, this game went twelve innings and concluded with a 2-1 Bulldog victory over the Gators.
  • 4/23 vs Georgia - After a tough loss the night before, Florida bounced back in a huge way as ace Logan Shore threw a complete game shutout. He allowed just two hits, struck out six, and walked two on 101 pitches. He also made some school history as this was his 13th consecutive victory, which broke Russ Kibler's record of 12 that was set in 1984.

After reliving the exhilarating wins and heartbreaking losses of April, let's now take a look at the Gator stat leaders going into May:


HitsDalton Guthrie (61) (Sophomore)

RBI's: Peter Alonso (41) (Junior)

Doubles: Dalton Guthrie (12)

Triples: Buddy Reed (4) (Junior)

Home Runs: Peter Alonso (9)

Batting Average: Peter Alonso (.344)

Slugging Percentage: Peter Alonso (.586)

On Base Percentage: Peter Alonso (.448)

Stolen Bases: Buddy Reed (20)

Runs Scored: Buddy Reed (38)

Total Bases: Peter Alonso (92)

Strikeouts: Buddy Reed (43)

Walks:  JJ Schwarz (33) (Sophomore)

Hit By Pitch: Peter Alonso (8)


Assists: Dalton Guthrie (115)

Putouts: Peter Alonso (370)

Errors: Jonathan India (6) (Freshman)

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


Wins: Logan Shore/Alex Faedo (8) (Junior/Sophomore)

Losses: A.J. Puk/Dane Dunning (2) (Junior)

Strikeouts: Alex Faedo (81)

Walks: A.J. Puk (19)

Starting Pitcher ERA: Logan Shore (2.39)

Relieving Pitcher ERA: Shaun Anderson (1.17) (Junior)

Shutouts: Logan Shore (2)

Saves: Shaun Anderson (10)

Appearances: Kirby Snead (28)

Innings Pitched: Logan Shore (67.2)

Final Takeaway:
The No. 1 Florida Gators now head into the final stretch of the regular season with three SEC series remaining along with two non-conference games. Here's what the schedule looks like:

3rd: Bethune-Cookman
6th: @Tennesssee*
7th: @Tennesssee*
8th: @Tennesssee*
10th: USF
13th: #7 Vanderbilt*
14th: #7 Vanderbilt*
15th: #7 Vanderbilt*
19th: @ #13 LSU*
20th: @ #13 LSU*
21st: @ #13 LSU*
24th-29th: SEC Tournament*

The Gators should romp their non-conference foes and win at least two out of three games in their final trio of SEC series. The Vandy series should bring a tremendous crowd, while the insane environment of LSU (28-16, 11-10 in SEC play) will pose a formidable challenge to the Orange and Blue.

Just a game behind South Carolina (34-9, 15-5 in SEC play) and 1.5 games ahead of Vandy (34-10, 13-8 in SEC play) in the SEC East standings, Florida has nine games to make up ground and capture a 14th SEC regular season championship. Not only that, they can secure the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament as they try to win back-to-back tourney titles for the first time since 1982.

It will be a great finish, and I intend to be there to see it all come together! The next Gator game is this Tuesday on May 3rd as they will be taking on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (23-22) at McKethan stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. and it can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network.

*All stats accredited to
*All rankings reflect where that team stood in the polls at the time Florida played them.

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