No.4 Florida travels to College Station for the first time in five years to take on Texas A&M in a three-game weekend series inside Blue Bell Park.
Despite trailing 11-13 in the all-time series, the Gators have won nine of their last 13 meetings including four of the last five and three straight series victories.
Florida ran into the Aggies twice in the SEC Tournament a season ago, dropping the first game 10-0 in seven innings before bouncing back to eliminate Texas A&M 9-0 in the semifinals.
The Gators are 10-7 over the Aggies including a 3-3 record on the road under Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
DATES, TIMES, AND BROADCAST INFO
Game 1: Friday, May 5th at 7:00 PM / SECN+
Game 2: Saturday, May 6th at 6:00 PM / SECN
Game 3: Sunday, May 7th at 2:00 PM / SECN+
Friday: RHP Brandon Sproat (6-2, 4.67 ERA) vs. RHP Nathan Dettmer (1-3, 6.08 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Hurston Waldrep (6-2, 4.74 ERA) vs. LHP Troy Wansing (2-2, 6.69 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Jac Caglianone (4-2, 5.11 ERA) vs. TBA
After making it all the way to the College World Series a year ago, the Aggies have not had the 2023 season they hoped for. Texas A&M holds a 26-19 (9-12 SEC) record with just three weekends left before postseason play.
Sitting at T-5th place in the SEC West, the Aggies are hitting .272/.398/.446 with 56 homers while pitching to a 5.62 ERA with 461 strikeouts in 393 2/3 innings. While TAMU’s ERA doesn’t jump out at you, their strikeout numbers do. The Aggies rank 16th in the country in strikeouts per nine innings (10.5), while the Gators rank 5th (11.2).
Much like Florida, Texas A&M has struggled to throw strikes in 2023, ranking 218th in division one baseball in walks per nine innings (5.26), while the Gators rank 161st (4.74).
By far the best part of Texas A&M’s ballclub is their defense, which holds a .978 fielding percentage, ranking 48th in the country.
KEVIN O’SULLIVAN VS. JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE
This weekend’s series features two of the top-four active coaches in the nation in terms of highest career winning percentage. O’Sullivan enters with a 663-312 all-time record (.680), which is good for third among active Division I head baseball coaches. Texas A&M’s Jim Schlossnagle ranks fourth in that category at 835-412 (.670).
Two well coached college baseball teams bode well for a competitive weekend series.
JAC CHASING HISTORY
First baseman and left-handed pitcher Jac Caglianone recently tied Florida’s single-season home run record after blasting his 26th long ball of the season against FSU on Tuesday night. Caglianone tied current teammate Wyatt Langford (2022) and Matt LaPorta (2005) at 26.
Caglianone has three more homers than any other player in the country and is on pace to finish with 31 homers in the regular season alone. Caglianone ranks fourth nationally with an .866 slugging percentage (first in SEC) and tied-for-sixth with 67 RBI (T-second in SEC).
It should be noted that the all-time home run record in the BBCOR era is 32 by Ivan Melendez (Texas).
LAST TIME OUT
Florida found some incredible relief pitching against FSU on Tuesday night, where a trio of Gators tossed nine innings, allowing zero runs while striking out 14 batters.
Florida’s ace Brandon Sproat is coming off one of his best starts of the 2023 season, where the hard throwing right hander went a strong seven innings against Missouri, allowing just one run off two hits while walking one batter (season low).
It’s critical that the Gators ride this momentum into the weekend, as Florida (36-10, 14-7 SEC) is in striking distance of the top of the SEC with nine games to go.