Florida baseball is continuing its march through the gauntlet that is the SEC. After dispatching Alabama last week, the Gators are hitting the road for their first road series of the season. The defending national champions, Ole Miss are waiting for them at the end of the road.
Florida also hopes to get a boost if, in fact, star Wyatt Langford steps back on the field.
Florida Baseball: Hit the road Jac
Ole Miss was humming along at 15-2, and it looked like they would avoid the drama of last season. While the Rebels won the College World Series, they were the last at-large team selected for the tournament after going 42-23.
But the wheels on the Ole Miss fell off last week after a mid-week loss to Jacksonville State and a sweep against Vanderbilt where none of the three games were particularly close.
Ole Miss has capable bats, with seven guys hitting over .300. The Rebels are 22nd nationally in batting average with a team average of .316. They don’t walk nearly as much, ranked 97th nationally in walks, which is why their overall runs scored, while still good at 8.3 runs per game, is outside the top 25 at 37th.
Calvin Harris leads the way batting .378, and Kemp Alderman is batting .364 with nine home runs. Keep an eye on TJ McCants, who has seven home runs to go with a .302 average.
Pitching, however, for Ole Miss is a problem. With a team ERA of 5.38, the Rebels are 123rd nationally. Xavier Rivas and Jack Dougherty are the two main starters for Ole Miss, but neither has an ERA under 5. The Rebels have shuffled pitchers around, trying to find a reliable third starter.
Florida baseball will have its normal cast of characters looking to take advantage. The Gators enter the weekend with the number one offense in the country with 10.08 runs per game. As reported by Nick de la Torre of On3, Wyatt Langford is on the 27-man roster for the Gators on this road trip. Whether he takes the field remains to be seen. Lanford has been out since being hit by a pitch against Sienna.
The two teams will play a doubleheader today after yesterday was rained out, and the series finale will be tomorrow.