Gators’ two-way phenom Jac Caglianone has exceled at the plate and on the mound throughout Florida’s 50-win season. The left hander has worked to a 7-3 record while posting a 3.78 ERA across 69 innings pitched.
Florida is the only team in the College World Series that didn’t break their weekend rotation in 2023. That’s a testament to staying healthy and the coaching staff’s eye for talent.
Jac Caglianone has settled in nicely to the Sunday role as Florida’s third starter, however, with a title on the line, Caglianone may be challenged with a new role on this Gators’ pitching staff.
“That third starter, sometimes his role changes a little bit, which, from a coaching standpoint, makes you a little nervous because you don’t want to put your players in position that they might not be used to, but at the same time you have to — you have to win with your best, and sometimes you have to roll the dice and take some chances,” Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan said during the pre-series press conference.
“What happens is your third starter sometimes gets put in a different role with Cags because he didn’t throw last weekend, obviously,” O’Sullivan said. “But if you are fortunate enough to win the first one and you have an opportunity to win the second one, then somebody has to beat you twice.
“We did that in ’17 with Jackson Kowar, brought him out of the pen in the second game against LSU,” O’Sullivan said. “It worked out for us. There probably would have been a lot of questions that I would have had to answer if it didn’t work out, right?”
O’Sullivan plans on going all in to win the first two games of the tournament, even if it means breaking their weekend rotation.
“The whole key is you have to do everything you possibly can to win Game 1,” O’Sullivan said. “Then if you are fortunate enough to win Game 1, you have to do everything you possibly can to win Game 2.”
Away from Condron Ballpark, Caglianone holds a 5.63 ERA across 19.2 innings pitched. Starting games on the road and in neutral sites have not gone in favor of the Tampa, Florida native this season. Command seems to be a real issue when facing hostile environments. On the biggest stage with a ballpark of nearly 25 thousand fans breathing down his neck, Caglianone may be tasked with coming out of the bullpen for the first time this season.
“Right now the plan is to do whatever we can to win tomorrow, and Sproat will obviously start,” O’Sullivan said.
If Caglianone is used in relief, Cade Fisher and Ryan Slater are names to watch for a potential game three starter shall Florida make it to that point.