The Florida baseball team is on the brink of closing the books on the season, but two Venice High juniors are proving their now unwritten chapters with the Gators will be dripping with promise. UF 2014 verbal commits Dalton Guthrie and Mike Rivera are on the verge of leading the Indians to back-to-back state championships, and Fightin' Gators delved into what makes this duo sparkle on the diamond.
Guthrie, a shortstop, and Rivera, a catcher, both locked down their positions as starters on Venice's varsity squad their freshman years. Both Guthrie and Rivera play under head coach Craig Faulkner — Guthrie's father's former teammate at LSU. Guthrie stems from a baseball-centric family as the son of former Indians player and MLB relief pitcher Mark Guthrie, while his older brother Kevin just finished his freshman season as a pitcher at Brown University.
Friday night, the future Florida Gators head to Fort Myers' JetBlue Park to take on Tallahassee-Chiles in the 7A State Semifinal contest. Rivera enters the matchup as the Indians' key offensive force leading the team with 41 hits, 25 RBI and 18 doubles while boasting a .506 batting average. Leadoff hitter Guthrie leads the squad in at-bats with 95 and in runs with 22.
In the video below, VHS assistant coach Joe Komaroski attests to Guthrie and Rivera's strengths and all three discuss what the duo will offer the Gators ball club in the future.