Gators Hoping to Build Momentum

Before heading to Nashville for a series that could decide the SEC Championship, the Gators host North Florida (24-21/13-14) on Wednesday night. It's an opportunity for No. 5 Florida to build some momentum after losing last weekend at Arkansas, but more important, it's about making sure everything is right for a series that could determine the champion.

The midweek struggles look to be a thing of the past after Florida demolished Bethune-Cookman 11-0 last Tuesday night. Mike Zunino hit two home runs while the pitching threw zeroes on the scoreboard, and the Gators worked out of their midweek woes.

On Wednesday against North Florida, the Gators will send left-hander Alex Panteliodis (3-1, 4.54) to the mound. The junior started last Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman and threw 4.1 scoreless innings to get the game off to a good start. Panteliodis was removed from the game because he reached his pitch count of 60, as head coach Kevin O'Sullivan wanted to save him for the weekend series of Arkansas. After his 11-win sophomore season, the Gators are hoping Panteliodis' success last week could be a sign of him regaining his form.

North Florida will start junior left-hander Tommy Organ (4-0, 3.44).

Wednesday night presents another challenge in North Florida, a team that has given the Gators plenty of trouble in recent years. Since 2006, the teams have split eight meetings. Five of the eight matchups between the two have been decided by two runs or less.

O'Sullivan is 4-1 against UNF, with the only loss coming in Jacksonville.

It's also the first time UNF head coach Smoke Laval has faced the Gators. He served as an assistant at Florida under Jack Rhine from 1982-1983. Ospreys assistant coach Tim Parenton worked as a head coach under Pat McMahon from 2005-2007.

When the two teams met last season, Austin Maddox went 4-for-4 and drove in five runs. The Jacksonville native also set the Florida freshman home run record when he blasted his 17th of the year.


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