How to Watch: Florida baseball vs. Vanderbilt Commodores on Friday
Florida baseball returns home to host the Vanderbilt Commodores this weekend starting on Friday, May 12, at Condron Family Ballpark in Gainesville, Florida, for the penultimate series of the 2023 schedule, and if you’re wondering how you can watch the action live, you’ve come to the right place.
The Gators got off to a strong start in non-conference play before earning a series win over the Alabama Crimson Tide at home to open SEC competition. Florida then took a single midweek game from the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee before sweeping a doubleheader over the Ole Miss Rebels on the road, following that up with two out of three at home from the Auburn Tigers.
Florida prevailed over the visiting Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at home before taking two of three on the road against the Tennessee Volunteers. Then on Tuesday, the Gators prevailed over the Seminoles again before dropping the opener to the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday. They bounced back on Saturday, before clinching the series on Sunday. The Orange and Blue then mercy-ruled the Florida A&M Rattlers.
The Gators were then swept on the road by the South Carolina Gamecocks for their first series loss of the season buts bounced back with a win over the North Florida Ospreys during the week before sweeping the Missouri Tigers last weekend. Speaking of sweeps, UF took all three games from FSU this season on Tuesday night with a win as well.
The Orange and Blue took the opener of last weekend’s series at the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday night before the home team bounced back to earn the series win with two-straight victories.
How to Watch
FRIDAY (5:30 p.m. EDT)
Watch: SEC Network
Listen: ESPN 98.1FM/850AM WRUF
Live Stream: fuboTV (try it free)
Projected Starting Pitchers
RHP Brandon Sproat
RHP Patrick Reilly
Projected Starting Pitchers Notes
Brandon Sproat has been strong all year for the Gators, but he only struck out four batters last week against Texas A&M, which is a season-low aside from that ugly outing against Auburn.
Sproat usually bounces back from “off weeks” well, but Vanderbilt has a strong lineup. Expect the strikeouts to bounce back up to the 7-8 range, but Sproat might also give up his typical three or four runs in a hurry.
Vanderbilt initially had Carter Holton set to pitch Game 1, but he was a late scratch in favor of right-hander Patrick Reilly. After beginning the season as a starter, Reilly moved into a long-relief role. He still ends up pitching starter innings in some games, going four or more frames in five appearances.
Strikeouts have been up for him over recent weeks, but his slider has to be on for him to make Florida swing and miss. Florida can hit a mid-90s fastball well, so this could be a favorable matchup for the Gators. — David Greenberg
Projected Starting Lineup
Other Players to Watch
Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
Vanderbilt has a ton of good hitters, but Enrique Bradfield Jr. might be the on to worry about the most. He’s a .300 hitter that turns singles into triples with his speed and an elite defender in center field. Think best-case scenario Michael Robertson in two years.
Then there’s RJ Schreck, who leads the team with a .348 average, 13 home runs and 54 runs batted in.
Nick Maldonado has been elite of the bullpen with six saves and a 1.73 ERA and 35 strikeouts through 26.0 innings and 18 appearances. – Greenberg
NOTES: Florida might have the all-time lead in the series, but things have been fairly one-sided over the past four years. Vanderbilt has won six of nine games against UF in that time, but this might be the first year Florida is favored in the matchup. – Greenberg
GAME 1: Florida, 7-5
Being at home should help Florida take the series, but Waldrep’s new delivery hasn’t been working and Vandy has its best arm on the mound Saturday. Caglianone and the bullpen will need to be at their best on Sunday to take the rubber match.
SERIES: They can’t lose a series at home, right? Florida, 2-1 — Greenberg
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