Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 Gator Baseball: A Year In Review

Entering 2016 with the No. 1 ranked recruiting class, the Florida Gator baseball team concluded one of the greatest seasons in school history with a 52-16 (19-10 SEC) record. They advanced to the College World Series for the fifth time in the Kevin O'Sullivan era before being ousted in the first two games.

Prior to the College World Series and the postseason in general, Florida found themselves in the loser's bracket of the SEC Tournament after losing the opening game to LSU in extra innings. From there, Florida cooked up their SEC mojo of past seasons as the Gators defeated Alabama, Mississippi State, and LSU in the semifinals to earn their way to the SEC Championship.

Florida would not defend their SEC title, as the Texas A&M Aggies crushed the Gators 12-5 in the title game. Despite the rout, Florida still earned the No. 1 seed for the second time in school history and cruised through their regional as they defeated Bethune-Cookman, UConn, and Georgia Tech. Of these three, only UConn presented a challenge as the Gators won that game by a score of 6-5. 

In the Gainesville Super Regional, Florida met a familiar opponent in the rival Florida State Seminoles. The Gators had swept the 'Noles in the super regional last year and were looking for that same result this time around.

However, Florida's plans for a sweep got a tad sidetracked when the 'Noles beat Alex Faedo and took Game 1 by a score of 3-0. Now with their backs against the wall, Florida would need to revive their offense to keep their incredible season alive.

The Gators answered the call. Logan Shore threw a gem in Game 2 as Florida won 5-0 and JJ Schwarz smacked a grand slam in the winner-take-all game as the Gators prevailed 7-0 and were once again on their way to Omaha at Florida State's expense.

In Omaha, the Gator offense disappeared. Playing the underdog Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, Florida lost their opening game 2-1 as Logan Shore received no run support. In the elimination game, Alex Faedo threw extremely well but received no run support either as Florida trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth.

Peter Alonso hit a two-run homer in his final collegiate at-bat to trim the lead to 3-2, but Florida's season would reach its heartbreaking conclusion as Jonathan India was thrown out at second base trying to extend a single into a double.

Despite becoming the third No. 1 overall seed to be eliminated from the College World Series in just two games (it happened to Florida before in 2012 and Arizona State in 2010), Florida has nothing to hang their heads over in 2016.

They accomplished many fantastic feats this past season! Some of which include:

  • Winning 10 of 13 three-game weekend series (six of them coming via sweep)
  • Defeating nine teams from the state of Florida (the only D-1 Floridian schools that the Gators did not face this season were FIU, Florida A&M, Jacksonville State, and Stetson)
  • Posting a record of 34-5 at McKethan Stadium, which featured a 29-game home winning streak that dated back to the 2015 season
  • Going 14-0 in midweek games
  • Winning 17 straight games from the end of February to the last week of March
  • Appearing in their third straight SEC Championship game
  • Recording the second highest amount of wins (52) in school history for the second consecutive year
  • Recording the highest amount of regular season wins (44) ever in school history
  • Defeating eight teams ranked in the final Baseball Top 25 polls
  • Having eight players selected in the 2016 MLB Draft
  • Sweeping Florida State in the three games scattered throughout the regular season and coming back to defeat them in the Gainesville Super Regional for the second straight year
  • Reaching the College World Series for the 10th time in school history and representing their conference well as the ONLY SEC team to advance to Omaha
  • Being ranked in the Top-5 for the entire year

Of course, this team was only as good as the players who suited up and took the field. Let's now take a look at some of the individual accolades that various players on this Gator squad earned this season:

  • ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-Americans
    • P - Logan Shore (Junior)
  • ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-Americans
  • Louisville Slugger First Team All-Americans
    • P - Logan Shore
  • Louisville Slugger Second Team All-Americans
    • RP - Shaun Anderson
  • Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans
    • 3B - Jonathan India
  • ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region First Team
    • 1B - Peter Alonso
    • P - Logan Shore
    • RP - Shaun Anderson
  • ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region Second Team
  • SEC Pitcher of the Year
    • P - Logan Shore
  • First Team All-SEC
    • P - Logan Shore
    • RP - Shaun Anderson
  • Second Team All-SEC
    • C - Mike Rivera (Sophomore)
    • 1B - Peter Alonso
    • SS - Dalton Guthrie
  • Freshman All-SEC Team
  • SEC All-Defensive Team
    • C - Mike Rivera
    • SS - Dalton Guthrie
    • OF - Buddy Reed (Junior)
  • School Records
    • Shaun Anderson - 13 saves (tied Josh Fogg's mark set in 1998)
    • Shaun Anderson - 0.97 ERA (surpasses Taylor Lewis's mark of 1.33 in 2015)
    • Alex Faedo - Nine strikeouts in a single-game in the College World Series vs Texas Tech
    • Logan Shore - Won his 13th consecutive decision (surpassing Russ Kibler's mark of 12) in a 6-0 shutout win over the Georgia Bulldogs

MLB Draft Selections
  • A.J. Puk (Junior): 1st Round (6th overall) to the Oakland Athletics, pitcher
  • Dane Dunning (Junior): 1st Round (29th overall) to the Washington Nationals, pitcher
  • Logan Shore (Junior): 2nd Round (47th overall) to the Oakland Athletics, pitcher
  • Buddy Reed (Junior): 2nd Round (48th overall) to the San Diego Padres, outfielder
  • Peter Alonso (Junior): 2nd Round (64th overall) to the New York Mets, first base
  • Shaun Anderson (Junior): 3rd Round (88th overall) to the Boston Red Sox, pitcher
  • Scott Moss (Sophomore): 4th Round (108th overall) to the Cincinnati Reds, pitcher
  • Kirby Snead (Junior): 10th Round (312th overall) to the Toronto Blue Jays, pitcher

Of these eight, I would say only Scott Moss and Kirby Snead might have a viable chance of returning for their respective junior and senior years. I don't see this being the case, however, as junior pitchers Mike Vinson and Aaron Rhodes of the 2015 squad both left Florida after being taken in the 24th and 28th rounds respectively. Considering that both Moss and Snead were chosen in the first ten rounds, I would not be surprised if they both left for the pros.

Now that I have acknowledged the award winners and MLB draftees, it's time to take one final look at the stat leaders for the 2016 campaign:


Hits: Dalton Guthrie (85)

Doubles: Peter Alonso (18)

Triples: Buddy Reed (6)

Home Runs: Peter Alonso (14)

RBI’s: Peter Alonso/JJ Schwarz (60)

Batting Average: Peter Alonso (.374)

Slugging Percentage: Peter Alonso (.659)

On Base Percentage: Peter Alonso (.469)

Stolen Bases: Buddy Reed (24)

Runs Scored: Buddy Reed (57)

Strikeouts: Buddy Reed (62)

Walks: JJ Schwarz (45)

Sacrifice Flys: Dalton Guthrie/JJ Schwarz (6)

Sacrifice Bunts: Buddy Reed/Mike Rivera (5)

At-Bats: Dalton Guthrie (279)


Assists: Dalton Guthrie (183)

Putouts: Peter Alonso (493)

Errors: Jonathan India (12)

Fielding Percentage: Nelson Maldonado/Nick Horvath (.1000) (Freshman/Sophomore)


Wins: Alex Faedo (13)

Losses: Alex Faedo/A.J. Puk/Dane Dunning (3)

Strikeouts: Alex Faedo (133)

Starting Pitcher ERA: Logan Shore (2.31)

Relieving Pitcher ERA: Shaun Anderson (0.97)

Shutouts: Logan Shore (2)

Saves: Shaun Anderson (13)

Appearances: Shaun Anderson (36)

Innings Pitched: Logan Shore (105.1)

Hit By Pitch: Alex Faedo (11)

Balks: A.J. Puk (1)

Final Takeaway:
Before giving my final thoughts, here are my Top 10 Gator games of the 2016 season:

  1. Logan Shore shuts out Miami - 2/26
  2. Florida hits two ninth inning home runs to defeat South Carolina - 5/29
  3. JJ Schwarz hits a grand slam to put away Florida State in Game 3 of super regionals - 6/13
  4. Facing elimination, Logan Shore throws eight shutout innings vs FSU in super regionals - 6/12
  5. Alex Faedo dominates Harvard as he K's 13 batters - 3/12
  6. Logan Shore throws a complete game vs Vanderbilt - 5/13
  7. Buddy Reed hits a walk off home run against Dartmouth in extra innings - 3/5
  8. Florida nearly no-hits Miami - 2/29
  9. Shore shuts out Georgia to win a school-record 13th consecutive decision - 4/23
  10. LSU defeats Florida in the longest SEC tournament game ever played - 5/25

Alright my listing is done for the remainder of the article. So you've now seen the statistics and awards for what has been one of my favorite seasons of Gator baseball. Without a National Championship though, what does 2016 really mean in the greater context of Gator baseball?

What it means is this: the 2016 Florida Gator baseball team has now established itself within the ranks of Kevin O'Sullivan's 2015, 2012, 2011, and 2010 squads. This year's team was historically good with their 44 regular season wins, but yet was unable to win either the SEC regular season or tournament titles.

The SEC is arguably the best conference in college baseball though, so I can give Florida a pass on not winning it all. Not to mention that SEC regular season champion Mississippi State and SEC Tournament champion Texas A&M both failed to get past super regionals that they were hosting. In fact, of the seven SEC teams invited to the tournament, only Florida made it to the College World Series (as I pointed out earlier in the article).

This Florida Gator team will always be special to me. In my last spring semester as a student, I had an absolute blast following this team and even conversing with some of the players who I happened to run into on campus. A brief stint in Omaha is disappointing, but it doesn't take away from an amazing 2016 Gator baseball season.

As eight Gators prepare to take the next step into the minor leagues, the 2017 road to Omaha has already begun. Florida will have two seniors, my boy Frank Rubio and Ryan Larson, accompanied by eight juniors, potentially 11 sophomores, and another outstanding freshmen class from Sully.

Florida has some holes to fill. For instance, who is going to man center field now? Who's going to hold it down at first base? Which guys are going to complement Alex Faedo in the starting rotation? Who is going to come in and slam the door in the ninth inning of a one-run game?

Fortunately, all of these questions can be answered with the insertion of someone already on the roster or in Sully's 2017 recruiting class. I won't worry about Florida's position needs now. I'll save that for another article at another time.

2016 was a great ride for Florida Gator baseball. I am both blessed and happy that I was able to cover this season as extensively as I did. It's something I will truly never forget as long as I live.

Go Gators! Thank you for another wonderful baseball season!

*All stats accredited to,,, &



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