Previewing No. 1 Miami vs No. 2 Florida

This weekend in Coral Gables is as big as college baseball can get in February. The No. 1 Miami Hurricanes (4-0) will host the No. 2 Florida Gators (5-0) for a three-game set at Mark Light Field

The Gators have gotten off to a hot start in 2020. Florida has won each of its first five games, scoring 51 runs — the third-highest total under Kevin O’Sullivan in that span — on 59 hits in the process. The Gators have also drawn 39 walks in five games, third-most in the country. The Gators’ .326 batting average is 25th best in the nation and their .454 on-base percentage is 19th best in the country. The Gators also own a .606 slugging percentage, 10th in the country and best in the SEC.

The Hurricanes also come in swinging hot bats led by sophomore Adrian Del Castillo. The catcher was named the ACC Player of the Week after posting a .556 batting average on opening weekend, where he hit two home runs, drove in six and scored three times. Del Castillo enters this weekend leading the Canes with a .583 batting average.

The Gators have had a lot of success against Miami under Kevin O’Sullivan. Florida has won each of the last five series and 12 of the last 15 games.

Kevin O’Sullivan vs. Miami

2008: 1-2
2009: 2-3 (swept in regular season knocked Miami out of the NCAA Tournament)
2010: 4-1 (won regular season series, knocked Miami out of the NCAA Tournament)
2011: 5-0 (swept regular season, knocked Miami out of the NCAA Tournament)
2012: 3-0 (11 wins in a row)
2013: 2-1
2014: 1-2
2015: 4-1 (won regular season series, beat Miami twice in CWS, eliminating them)
2016: 2-1
2017: 3-0
2018: 2-1
2019: 2-1
Total: 31-13 (.704%)

Pitching Matchups
Friday: Junior RHP Tommy Mace (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. RS Senior RHP Brian Van Belle (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Saturday: Junior RHP Jack Leftwich (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Junior RHP Chris McMahon (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Sunday: TBD vs. Sophomore RHP Slade Cecconi (1-0, 1.50 ERA)

Gators projected lineup (by position)
C – Cal Greenfield
1B – Kris Armstrong
2B – Cory Acton
3B – Kirby McMullen
SS – Josh Rivera
LF – Austin Langworthy
CF – Jud Fabian
RF – Jacob Young
DH – Nathan Hickey

Miami projected lineup (by position)
C – Adrian Del Castillo
1B – Alex Toral
2B – Tyler Paige
3B – Raymond Gil
SS – Anthony Vilar
LF – Jordan Lala
CF – Tony Jenkins
RF – Gabe Rivera
DH – JP Gates

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