Gator Baseball to Open Season on Feb. 18

While the Gators are preparing to fight for a return trip to Omaha during fall practices, the Florida baseball schedule was released Thursday afternoon. The Gators went a program-best 33-3 at home last season and are 90-19 in three years with head coach Kevin O'Sullivan at the helm.

Florida will open its season at home for the 11th consecutive season. They will host USF February 18-20. Last year, the Gators also opened the season with the Bulls and swept a three-game series. Catcher Mike Zunino delivered a walk-off single in the 10th inning of the final game to secure the sweep.

Boston College will come to Gainesville during the second weekend of the season, before the annual series against Miami on March 4-6. Florida will be seeking revenge as the Hurricanes left Gainesville with a sweep in 2009. Rhode Island comes in the next weekend as the final weekend series before SEC play begins.

Florida will travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU in the opening weekend of conference play. The 2010 College World Series champion South Carolina Gamecocks will come to town March 25-27.

"We are looking forward to the upcoming season and are counting on our Gator fans' continued support," O'Sullivan said. "We made a lot of great progress last spring, return a strong group and have several new players that we will be looking to have an immediate impact."

The Gators will take on Florida State four times this year for the second straight season. The first will take place March 1 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the spring training home of the New York Yankees. Each team will host a home game, with the fourth game being at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on March 29.

Of the 56 games on the schedule, 27 are against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season. 19 of the games will be against teams that advanced to the Super Regionals last season, which pin the best 16 teams left against each other.

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