In last year's NCAA Baseball tournament, the Florida Gators rolled through their competition, only to get swept by South Carolina in the championship series of the College World Series. This year, all of last season's star sophomores return as juniors, making Florida one of the clear favorites to win the tournament. They're a No. 1 seed, and they begin their trek towards a title on Friday against Bethune-Cookman in Gainesville.
Poor Bethune-Cookman. They're pretty good. They're always pretty good, actually. They played well in an 8-6 loss to Florida in Gainesville earlier in the year and they won the MEAC tournament, but they were 'rewarded' with a very difficult draw.
Power hitters Mike Zunino and Preston Tucker lead the way for Florida, while Nolan Fontana leads the team in on-base percentage. Jonathan Crawford is expected to take the mound for UF on Friday, and the Gators are one of few teams that has four quality starters available to them, instead of three. Karsten Whitson is a bit of a wildcard because of injuries, but if he's healthy, the Gators will have four very good starters at their disposal.
Game Date/Time: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: McKethan Stadium, Gainesville, Florida