Florida and Auburn will play a rematch series with a trip to the Omaha and the College World Series on the line.
Who: Auburn Tigers (42-21) vs. Florida Gators (45-18)
Where: Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
When: Saturday (noon), Sunday (noon), Monday (if necessary TBD)
Broadcast: ESPN will broadcast all three games
Auburn: Butch Thompson (141-92, 102-80 at Auburn)
Florida: Kevin O’Sullivan (493-226)
How Auburn got here:
The Tigers were not a national seed and had to go on the road last week to play in the Raleigh regional. Despite being on the road the Tigers swept through the regional in impressive fashion. They beat Northeastern 13-4, Army 12-1 and host N.C. State 15-7.
How Florida got here:
The Gators spent most of the year as the No. 1 team in the country and earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament. They did not, however, have as easy a go of their regional as Auburn. The Gators beat Columbia 13-5 and Jacksonville 3-2 before losing to FAU 7-4, forcing a game 7 of the regional. The Gators won that decisive contest 5-2
Saturday: Casey Mize (10-5 2.95 ERA) vs. Brady Singer (11-1, 2.27 ERA)
Sunday: Tanner Burns (7-4, 3.12 ERA) vs. Jackson Kowar (9-5, 3.38 ERA)
This weekend will feature four first round picks including the top overall selection in Auburn’s Casey Mize. This is the 10th time Florida has reached a Super Regional and the second time the Auburn Tigers have. The two teams played earlier in the season with Brady Singer out-dueling Casey Mize on Friday before the teams split the next two games with Florida taking the series. Singer and Mize will be in the spotlight again this weekend, facing off for the third time in their careers.
What they’re saying:
Kevin O’Sullivan: “Every returning player has been to Omaha. They don’t know anything other than that. JJ’s been three times, all the juniors have been twice. Other than Wil Dalton and a couple of the JC transfers and freshmen, that’s all they know. This weekend takes a tremendous amount of focus. It’s a different level of concentration. We certainly know we’ve got to play better if we want to advance, but we’ve been there and we’ve got a lot of experience and we’re playing at home. Certainly that’s not going to guarantee that we’re going to be able to move on, because we’ve got a very good Auburn team and they’re playing very well right now, but it is some added motivation for us to kind of keep this thing going. Because obviously if we’re fortunate enough to move on, every guy on our roster has been to Omaha and we wouldn’t know any better. So we’ll see what happens.”
Florida outfielder Wil Dalton on Casey Mize: “You don’t see a guy that polished that much at this
level. You got your guys that have the tools to go and pitch in the big leagues but his stuff is so refined and so consistent. It goes up there with Brady’s stuff also. Those are two guys that can go step in the in the big leagues right now and pitch. He throws everyone of his pitches for a strike, any count any time. He’ll pitch you backwards. He’ll pitch you however he wants to. He commands every pitch for a strike. That’s his biggest thing; he’s not going to walk you. He’s just going to fill up the count.”
Florida second baseman Deacon Liput on the draft being over: ” It’s just the process as a whole that I think takes up some of your time. Knowing your next step always kind of helps. I think everyone’s kind of excited to just have that over with and focus on Supers.”