College Baseball Weekend Preview Podcast: Florida/Miami
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview the second weekend of college baseball action.
The slate of games is highlighted by a series in Coral Gables between No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Miami. The Gators have dominated the series between the two of late, winning each early-season series with the Canes since 2015.
Every contest between the two rivals is an intense affair, but this weekend’s games should have a little extra juice, given the rankings of the teams involved. In fact, it’s the first time the teams have met as top-five opponents since 1992.
Both are coming off of taking care of business in their opening three games. Florida swept Marshall last weekend by a combined 34-10 score. Similarly, Miami swept Rutgers at Mark Light Field, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 23-9.
The matchup between Florida’s pitching staff and Miami’s offense looms large. For the Gators, Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich are extraordinarily talented and have more than enough stuff to be co-aces at the front of the rotation in the mold of so many Florida pitchers before them. At the same time, however, they haven’t been those types of pitchers consistently just yet.
The Hurricanes’ offense got off to a hot start against Rutgers, but can their depth pieces in the lineup, like outfielders Tony Jenkins and Gabe Rivera, and two-way player J.P. Gates, continue to swing it well against a higher level of pitching this weekend? There should be plenty of confidence that established stars like Adrian Del Castillo and Alex Toral will perform well, but UM will need contributions one through nine to win the series.
Teddy and Joe also touch on a few other things to watch this weekend, like No. 23 Dallas Baptist’s trip to Chapel Hill to take on No. 19 North Carolina in the only other series between ranked teams. If DBU is going to rise to the level of being a potential regional host this season, this is an opportunity to build the necessary resume to do so.
The best tournament of the weekend is the Round Rock Classic, and with two teams in the field, Stanford and Houston, coming off of series losses, plus Texas Tech and Tennessee coming off of emphatic sweeps against overmatched foes, there will be plenty to prove all around.
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