Former Gator wideout Louis Murphy was right.
If the U stands for winning, for well rounded athletics programs, and for championships, Florida is the new U.
What, Miami? U want that one letter nickname?
How about The E?
Because Miami has a history if committing a bunch of them against Florida.
Back up to last year, where Miami committed a humiliating ELEVEN errors against Florida in two games in the Super Regionals, nine of them in one game.
While the Canes didn’t make 6 errors against Florida in this year’s postseason, they did make 6, including a costly one in the first game to allow Nolan Fontana to win it.
The second game was over pretty early.
Three batters into the game, Preston Tucker smashed a meatball over the right field foul pole to get the Gators off and running. But the real fun came in the third inning. The Gators batted around and then some and 8 runs crossed the plate. No matter who Jim Morris sent out there, the Gators hammered. Then Florida was perfectly content to sit back and allow Miami to slowly chip away at an 11-0 lead.
The outcome was never in doubt- a great sign.
If you don’t follow baseball, then you should know that Miami had to fight off Jacksonville just to set up this rematch. Miami isn’t really a bad team, in all honesty. They’re not the powerhouse that they used to be, but they’re respectable. So a good team like Miami would be expected to go into the dugout, take a deep breath, say, OK, that was close, now let’s rebound. They’ve been good at that this year.
Not today. Not even Dale Carey could save Miami today with a fantastic catch, nor could Zeke DeVoss with his clutch hitting all year long.
Alex Panteliodis, as he has done most of the year, threw a gem. He made one bad pitch, a home run in the 7th inning. So with him and Hudson Randall, Florida has got two great starting pitchers to depend upon as they head deeper.
The hitting, as expected was incredible. Preston Tucker is hot, as is Mike Zunino. And Vickash Ramjin hasn’t been half bad filling in for Austin Maddox.
But that’s going to be Florida’s top priority- getting Maddox back.
He’s not just a great hitter, he’s our closer. We haven’t been in any situations where we would have used him yet, so I can’t say how much we need him yet, but that’s the thing. We’re going to need him at some point.
If there’s one real key to beating either Mississippi State or Georgia Tech in the Super Regional, it’s going to be whether Florida can jump out to a big early lead, like they did today. It works in every sport. We saw it in football all year.
Another, smaller issue I saw was Florida taking home run swings with the bases loaded. I can understand it when it’s 11-0 in the 5th, but that can’t happen in the 7th inning with a 5-3 lead over North Carolina in the World Series, if we get there. We’ve got to just work on taking it one base at a time. We’ve got to be more patient at the plate, taking more pitches against the better pitchers to work their pitch count.
Aside from that? Nothing to worry about. If the Gators keep this up, they’ll bring another national championship trophy.