Even if you are a Florida baseball, it’s almost impossible to win them all in college baseball. But it’s also the reason why heading into last weekend’s series against South Carolina the Gators were flying high because they had yet to lose a series all season.
Following a sweep to South Carolina, the endgame goal of Florida hasn’t changed, though it did expose the flaws this squad does have.
Florida Baseball: No team is perfect
We already highlighted on this site the bullpen meltdown from Thursday’s game. It reincarnated ghosts that the Gators thought they had vanquished earlier this season.
The deeper narrative is what happened on Friday and Saturday. There is no shame in losing to the 6th ranked team in the country 5-2 or 7-5. In the Friday contest, Florida left runners on base in every inning except the first and eighth, but never could get the big hit it has relied on all season.
But the deeper narrative is that Florida didn’t score more than five runs in a game during a series in which it needed six runs at a minimum to win even one game.
Of Florida’s last 23 games, dating back to the Alabama series, the Gators have given up at least five runs in 16 of those contests.
And while the bullpen is the main angst among Florida fans, it must be pointed out that Jac Caglianone, for all his heroics at the plate, is turning into a liability on the mound. Five of his last six starts have been four innings or less, and he has given up 15 runs in 15.2 innings of work over theis six starts.
At some point during the NCAA tournament, Florida will go up against a pitcher or two that they can’t solve right away. They won’t be able to rely on outslugging everyone for every game and march all the way to the title.
And without some key shut down performances, the season might end sooner than they want it to.