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A Reeling Florida Takes on a 20-5 Ole Miss

Last Played: April 05, 2021
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Baseball America is a one-stop destination for all things baseball. With an emphasis on NCAA Baseball, they also analyze major, minor and high school leagues. Coming at you every week with the newest news in baseball.
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All right, Joe, it's time to take a look at the biggest series of the weekend, or at least the most intriguing series in our eyes. Going to pick a few to highlight here. And then Joe will pick one of his own. That's maybe a little bit off the radar of the top line, uh, primo stuff that we definitely want you guys to know about something, uh, that that your you is the dedicated college baseball fan. Can you dig a little deeper on this weekend? So, uh, to get things started off, though. Let's go with that showdown between Ole Miss and Florida. As I mentioned earlier in the podcast, this series had a chance to be a top five series like If they played it a week ago, it would have been number four and number five. Instead, it's number three Old Miss going to number 14. Florida. Florida hit a hit, a pretty significant step snag last week in Columbia, South Carolina. They got swept by South Carolina. They weren't noncompetitive. They definitely should have one on Friday. They lead the game going into the ninth and going into the bottom of the 12th, 13th whatever and ended in. They were winning, and South Carolina came back twice in that game, then was impressive over the next two days of the series to complete their first sweep of Florida in like 15 years. So now Florida comes in with a little more urgency. Coming back to Gainesville on this, meanwhile, comes in at 20 and 46 and O in the SEC. There's six and oh, and S E C. For the first time in more than 50 years, and the fact that this series is on the road like I mean, I'm sure it will help Florida. They played pretty well in Gainesville, but I'm not sure what. This is going to notice that they they've played a fair amount of games away from Swazi field, at least for like a high end SEC team at this point. Uh, well, Mrs uh, six and one away from Swazi and all of those games are against good competition. That's three at the tournament in Arlington against the best three teams in the Big 12. That's a series at Alabama last weekend, which they swept, and a game at Louisiana Tech, which is a top 25 team now, so you know they're not going to be. You know, playing on the road has not been a problem for illness to this point of the season, so it'll be interesting to see how this one shakes out. But I do think the urgency that Florida explained with will be interesting to, uh, to watch 100%. Yeah, Florida just needs it. They need it bad and you know, they lose this series suddenly there underwater in the SEC. And that's not necessarily something to get overly worked up about because so as we talked about before, they're just going to be teams under 500 or fighting around 500 the SEC and the A C C. That it's just the nature of the beast in those countries. They also still had to be under 500 but they still have Missouri, and we'll see how good Kentucky is. But they have yet to play either of the two teams that we expect to be the two worst teams in their division for sure, if they finish under 500 probably discussion. But you know they'll be four and five in that scenario and you know, it's a little early for worry about that, but certainly there does need to be a little bit of a sense of urgency here. I think with all this one thing that was a little, um, interested to see with all Mrs. There's no denying last year's team just had kind of a some mojo, I guess, for lack of a better way of putting it. That team was really good. They knew they were good. They were playing really well at the time the season ended. Obviously, it's continued. So I was a little worried that maybe, you know, you lose some pieces off of that team, notably Sir Video in Canaan. Do they roll that over in the 2021? And it kind of looks like they have. It feels like a pretty similar team in terms of having that mojo going. And you add on top of that Oh, yeah. Now, Gunner Haugland is one of the best arms in college baseball, and you know, they lost Mukasey for a while, but it didn't really matter. So this team really, really is rolling here and has gone a little bit, you know, we talked about last week how Arkansas and Mississippi State took some of the shine last weekend because they were playing against each other. Kind of, uh, we boxed out Old Miss from being in the discussion among the best teams in the SEC. But they're they're really right there, Um on on Florida side, like you can point to a couple of things that have gotten them where they are here. And one of them is that Hunter Barco on Sundays has has not been very good. It's kind of a weird stat line because he's still he's not really walking anybody, and he's striking out a ton, But it's just that certainly getting hit a little bit better than than he would expect it. I'm guessing he's had some cluster luck with the hits and just some bad innings. I know against Miami early in the season, it was just like things just snowballed on him in one inning. But the other thing is just Fabian and they're different players, different positions. So let me be very, very clear because I know some listeners will take this as a literal cop and I don't mean it that way. I'm just saying, In terms of the performance, it reminds me a little bit, some of like, later stage Casey Martin in Arkansas, where he's still hitting with some power. But the strikeouts are a real problem. Uh, he's got 40 of them so far this season and less than 100 at bats. And so he just hasn't been the dynamic player that I think I know. I thought he would be coming into the season. I know Teddy thought he would be coming into the season, and if Fabian's doing, you know, the offense has still been pretty good for Florida, by and large. But if Fabian is the player that we thought he would like, suddenly we're looking at one of the better offenses in the country, and it just hasn't been that because we're talking about a potential national player of the year that just hasn't been anywhere close to the level that we thought he was going to be coming into the season. Yeah, I mean, that's, uh, that's been an issue. The pitching has been okay, Uh, this year and like that's that's maybe not for Florida. Maybe that doesn't sound very good at all. That they're They're starters last week and none of them went more than five. That's an issue, but they're fielding has been an issue, too. It's just been a lot of things that Florida typically does not struggle with. They've struggled with this year, and they clean any one of them up. If they find a way to, uh, you know, get the most out of Mace Leftwich embark A, which is supposed to be the best rotation in the country, or at least on the very short list if they clean up the defense.
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