It an anniversary of sorts for senior Ben Harrison. The Florida outfielder will be lacing up his cleats for his 20th game in Mark Light Stadium and based on his comments last week, he's eager to right a few wrongs. However, Miami pitchers are very careful to keep the ball out of Harrison's zone. They walked Ben six of the past eight times at bat.
Harrison's 8 of 12 performance in last weekend's Oklahoma City Regional will certainly have the Miami pitching staff hanging the Hurricane warning flag from the dugout. The Most Outstanding Performer has been on a tear since April, hitting at a .431 clip. He ripped two home runs in the series finale in Knoxville. Harrison had four RBI's, and followed that up with a 4 for 14 (.285) performance in Birmingham. The senior took apart the Ole Miss staff the previous weekend going 6 for 13 (.462) and picking up a couple of RBI's.
Second baseman Adam Davis was tremendous verus the ‘Canes earlier in the year. The Ft. Myers native ripped 6 hits in 14 trips to the plate, securing a home run and triple.
There are a couple of Gators who would benefit should Miami continue to miss the spots and put Harrison on base. Port Charlotte junior Jeff Corsoletti was 4 of 13 with a double, home run, and a couple RBI's against Miami. Corso has also been phenomenal defensively. First baseman C. J. Smith looks as though he's ready to break through. Like Davis and Corsoletti, he too was named to the All-Regional Team. Smith hit only 2 of 12 against Miami in February.
Third baseman Jonathan Tucker was named to the SEC Tournament Team hit .333 with a double, triple and three RBI's. Equally impressive was freshman Brian LeClerc, who also finished with a .333 average. The Clearwater native was 5 of 15 with a key double in the Gators win over Jawja.
Prior to the Southeastern Conference tournament, catcher Matt LaPorta had been swinging the hot bat for the Gators. The freshman from Port Charlotte hit .500 in the Tennessee series, pounding out three home runs and five RBI's.
The Gators finished the season, conference tourney, and regionals batting .306. Thye have faced some tremendous pitching, many of whom were drafted in Monday's Major League Baseball Draft.
Cesar Carrillo has been unbeatable. The freshman has emerged as the Hurricanes ace. They always seem to have one, don't they? Carrillo pitched two innings of relief against the Gators on Valentine's Day. He was anything but sweet to those Florida batters who stepped into the box as the Mt. Carmel grad blew some heaters past the Gators to close out the game and secure a Hurricane party. Carrillo throws in the low to mid 90's consistently. He locates the ball well, and seems to mix his pitches well. When you're 10-0 and face the formidable schedule that the ‘Canes face, that's impressive.
Senior J.D. Cockroft (9-4) pitched well versus the Gators in the first game. Unfortunately, Florida's Justin Hoyman was occupying the mound for the Orange and Blue. Cockroft pitched four innings and gave up just one earned run, while striking out three. The lefty gave way to Dan Touchet, who gave up a couple of Florida additional runs.
Florida had its greatest success against lefthander Brandon Camardese in February. The junior gave up four hits and two runs, while walking four Florida batters in just two innings. Morris allowed him to pitch two innings before replacing him with Danny Gil, who effectively shut down the Gators. The ‘Canes pounded Florida 19-5.
Alabama's Wade LeBlanc tortured Florida hitters with a complete game shut out. He struck out nine in the game. Vandy's Ryan Mullins handcuffed Florida with a 12 strike out shut out in the SEC Tournament. However, the Gators beat up on Bama's Taylor Tankersley, who was a first round draft pick of the Florida Marlins on Monday. Tankersley had no control though, He allowed five walks and gave up a couple of hits in 3.2 innings as the Gators rolled to a 6-5 victory.
|Danny Gil (r)||R||8-0||3.22||.185||36.||1 46||26||1|
|Dan Touchet (r)||R||5-1||3.69||.235||46.1||29||16||4|