Gators Host JU in Midweek Tune-up

Before No. 4 Florida begins a weekend series that will determine the SEC Championship, the Gators (39-13/20-7 SEC) must first take care of business on Tuesday. Florida returns to McKethan Stadium after a series win at Vanderbilt to host Jacksonville (32-18/18-9 A-Sun) in a midweek tune-up at 7 p.m.

The Gators will send junior left-hander Alex Panteliodis (4-1, 4.03) to the mound for his eighth start of the season. Panteliodis worked 1.1 innings of relief in the first game of the Vanderbilt series. The game was suspended on Friday night because of rain, and Panteliodis started on the mound when the game was resumed on Saturday.

With Florida hosting Kentucky for a Thursday-Saturday series, Panteliodis will likely be on a pitch count so that he will still be available to pitch against the Wildcats.

The Dolphins will throw senior left-hander Matthew Tomshaw (6-3, 4.14). He has been their best starting pitcher this season, making a team-high 13 starts. In 78.1 innings, Tomshaw has allowed 97 hits and recorded 58 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .307 against him.

Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan is 3-1 against the Dolphins, with the lone loss coming in Jacksonville. This season, the Gators are 28-5 against unranked opponents and 27-4 at home against all opponents, including a current eight-game home winning streak.

The Gators pounded Jacksonville 12-2 in Gainesville last season. Jonathan Pigott and Nolan Fontana each had a two-run triple as Florida put up 14 hits and scored 10 two-out runs. The bullpen ended the game with six scoreless innings.

Adam Brett Walker, who is emerging as a top target for the 2012 MLB Draft, leads the Jacksonville offense. The sophomore outfielder/first baseman is hitting .422 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs. Walker is also 12-for-12 in stolen bases.

Kevin Lehane (.365) and Daniel Gulbransen (.363) are the second and third best batting averages on the team this season, while Lehane has hit eight home runs and Gulbransen has launched five.

The Dolphins have stolen 80 bases this season and have six starters batting over .300.

Florida hosts Kentucky Thursday in the first game of a three-game series. The Gators are tied atop the SEC standings with Vanderbilt and South Carolina at 20-7. Florida is the only one of the three playing at home this weekend, as Vanderbilt travels to Georgia and South Carolina travels to Alabama.

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