Rhodes named player of the week

Sophomore right-hander Aaron Rhodes was one of five players name to Louisville Slugger’s National Players of the week following his complete game, one-hit shutout of visiting Missouri on Saturday. Rhodes joined RHP Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton), 1B Alexander Lee (Radford), LHP Carlos Rodon (NC State) and LF Kurt Wertz (Towson) in being recognized by the publication.

This is the first time that Rhodes has been given the honor and he becomes the first Gator pitcher to be picked since Brian Johnson in 2011.

Rhodes performance was the first complete game for any Gator pitcher this season and his one allowed hit was the least hits a Gator pitcher has given up in a complete game since Jonathon Crawford’s no hitter against Bethune-Cookman.

Rhodes has earned a spot in the weekend rotation this season with a 5-2 record and 2.08 ERA.

Huge Series upcoming

The Gators head to Tuscaloosa this weekend for a three game set with SEC west leader Alabama (tied with LSU and Ole Miss). Florida currently leads South Carolina by three games with nine conference games left on the schedule.

The Gators will take on Alabama, Vanderbilt (four games back) and Tennessee (7 games back) to finish the season.

With a slim lead and a difficult road ahead, the series this weekend is a huge opportunity for the Gators. South Carolina plays host to Kentucky this weekend and the Wildcats’ bite is not nearly as fierce on the road as it is in the bandbox they play at in Lexington.

Taking two games this weekend is important for overall seeding heading into the SEC Championship.

National Ranking

Florida moved up from No. 9 to No. 4 in the country in the Perfect Game Top-25. The Gators also jumped up one spot from No. 6 to No. 5 in Baseball America’s poll but were stagnant in the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 12.

Alabama is ranked No. 20 in the Coaches Poll.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC