Florida baseball gets set to host the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday, March 17, in the second of a three-game weekend series to open the Southeastern Conference schedule at Condron Family Ballpark in Gainesville, Florida, and if you’re wondering how you can watch the action live, you’ve come to the right place.
The Gators started the season with a three-game sweep of the visiting Charleston Southern Buccaneers but split a home-and-home with the South Florida Bulls that saw both teams win the away game during the week. The Orange and Blue bounced back from the USF loss with a sweep of the visiting Cincinnati Bearcats two weekends ago but then split another home-and-home with the Jacksonville Dolphins last week.
Last weekend, Florida took two of three at home from the No. 22 Miami Hurricanes before sweeping a midweek series at home against the Florida Atlantic Owls. The Gators then swept the Siena Saints last weekend and a won single midweek matchup against the North Florida Ospreys to push their overall record to 16-3 on the season.
The Gators took the opening game of the series on Thursday night, 3-0.
UPDATE: The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday due to expected inclement weather on Saturday.
🚨 𝗦𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗗𝗨𝗟𝗘 𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘 🚨
Due to inclement weather expected on Saturday, Florida and Alabama will play a Friday doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) March 17, 2023
How to Watch
FRIDAY (3:30 p.m. EDT)
Projected Starting Pitchers
RHP Hurston Waldrep
RHP Ben Hess
Hurston Waldrep has been a strikeout machine for the Gators over the first four weeks of the season. He has 40 punchouts through 21 innings so far and is now looking to test his stuff against the SEC. The Tide are somewhat prone to the swing and miss, but they should put up a decent effort compared to the teams Waldrep has seen aside from Miami. The good news is Waldrep set a personal best of 14 strikeouts against the Hurricanes.
Ben Hess is a legitimate 2024 draft prospect with a 1.83 ERA through four starts. This will be his first real test of the season and Florida could jump all over the sophomore. — David Rosenberg
Florida's Projected Starting Lineup
Other Players to Watch
Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News
Former Florida catcher Mac Guscette should get a start or two against his former club this weekend. He’s batting .412 with five home runs in 12 starts with the Tide and is used to hitting at Condron Family Ballpark.
The rest of the lineup can hit, too. Nine players are hitting above .300 with at least 34 at-bats on the year. Colby Shelton is the power threat with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs, and Drew Williamson can do it all batting .434 with six homers. Caden Rose is a threat on the base paths, but the rest of the team doesn’t really steal. — Rosenberg
NOTES: Florida usually handles Alabama in Gainesville and the Gators took two of three from the Crimson Tide last year in Tuscaloosa before beating them in the SEC Tournament later on. Alabama’s a good team, but history is in favor of Florida here. — Rosenberg
GAME 2: Florida, 5-0
SERIES: I’ll go bold to start off conference play. Alabama has played a weak schedule and doesn’t have the starting pitching to keep Florida quiet. I expect everything to click for UF this weekend, and the starting rotation to give its best-combined effort of the year. Gators sweep and get things done early on Saturday, 3-0. — Rosenberg
Check out Gators Wire’s other position previews for the 2023 season:
[lawrence-auto-related count=5 category=1369]