Tim Casey / UAA Communications

Faedo to lead Gators’ rallying cry

While we all know the Gator bats have to show up and do their thing if Florida is going to make any kind of run still in the College World Series, head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is still going to lean on the pitching and defense to get him through. Sophomore Alex Faedo is up next to start for Florida when they try and tackle Texas Tech in the elimination bracket in Omaha.

The Gators have been here before. They seem to live for the long road and have succeeded at times this year. They lost the opener of the SEC Tournament and made it to the championship game only to be bounced by Texas A&M and their hitting machine. The Gators dropped the opener to Florida State last weekend in the Gainesville Super Regional, then bounced back to win the last two to make the trip to Omaha. Living on the edge comes to this group that isn’t consistent in putting up runs.

We'll talk about it, about the SEC tournament, and we got to the final game and then obviously lost the first one against Florida State and then won the next two,” Kevin O’Sullivan said following the opening round 2-1 loss to Coastal Carolina that has the Gators in the elimination bracket. “That's all we can do at this point. There are a lot of people disappointed. I'm disappointed, to be honest with you.

“I think that's a really good team. We just ran across a guy that was just really good tonight. And but we'll bounce back. We'll have a good practice tomorrow. And we've got no choice.

The Gators will go with sophomore right hander Alex Faedo (13-3, 3.25 ERA) who has struck out 124 batters in his 97 innings pitched. Faedo has been the weekend clincher for the Gators a lot this year and he is being asked to help keep the Gators season alive.

“We've got Alex on the mound, and we'll do whatever we need to do Tuesday and hopefully win and then move on,” O’Sullivan said. “Just take it one game at a time. That's all we could do at this point.

“He's been great for us all year long.  I watched a little bit of the TCU-Texas Tech game and I think they got, like, six right-handers in the lineup. So we'll run him out there. I feel great with him on the mound.

The Red Raiders will counter with freshman righty Davis Martin (9-1, 2.73 ERA) who has struck out 58 batters in his 82.1 innings pitched. This is the matchup that the Gators have to take advantage of. Martin is a terrific freshman, but the Gators have got to bring it at the plate for a change.

In Florida’s last two losses (FSU and Coastal Carolina) the Gators scored one run total. If Faedo has a rough start, the Gators have several arms they can bring in to slow things down on the opposite side, but the bats have to start showing up and in a big way.

“I feel very confident,” O’Sullivan said about the prospect of Faedo throwing well. . But, we're going to have to obviously swing the bats a little bit better.”

They will or they will be coming home quicker than anyone imagined.


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