Florida hosts Arkansas in SEC opener

Shhhhhhh keep it under your hat- as they enter the beginning of the conference schedule the Florida baseball team is currently riding a six game winning streak, swinging a hot bat, and developing a few guys who look as though they're ready to help the team defend their SEC Championship crown. Oh, by the way- Matt LaPorta appears to be close to returning to the Gators lineup.

The tenth ranked Arkansas Razorbacks visit McKethan Stadium this weekend. The Hogs will send southpaw Nick Schmidt to the hill against Florida right hander Bryan Ball. The game is a rematch of a game that saw the Razorbacks win 4-1 last year in Fayetteville.

Last year Schmidt pitched a complete game gem in the regular season. He allowed just seven hits and one earned run while striking out seven Florida hitters. The only Florida hitter with measured success against him was shortstop Adam Davis, who went two for four. Gavin Dickey, Brian Leclerc, Brian Jeroloman, and Brandon McArthur each went one for four against Schmidt.

He was not as dominant against the Gators in the SEC Conference Tournament Championship. Schmidt allowed seven hits and two earned runs in seven innings. Matt Laporta picked up two hits against him in that game. Dickey ripped a double, while Davis, Jeroloman, and Leclerc each secured hits against him.

Ball did not fare quite as well for the Gators. He gave up three earned runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings. As strong as the Gators were offensively last season- giving up three runs would usually have been enough, but not against Schmidt.

Arkansas second baseman Ben Tschepikow was the leading hitter against Ball. He went two for three with a run scoring double. Centerfielder Craig Gentry and catcher Brian Walker each secured one hit against Ball last season and both of them were able to stretch them for extra bases, doubles. The Hogs leading hitter this season, Chris Hollendsworth went one of two against Ball.  

Schmidt has been incredible thus far in 2006. Opponents are hitting a paltry .101 against him. Furthermore, Schmidt has only allowed five runs in 30 plus innings. The only light Schmidt has provided for the Gators is giving up a free pass to first on occasion.

Arkansas

pitcher

W-L

Opp. BA avg

ERA

IP

BB

SO

LHP

Nick Schmidt

4-0

.101

1.47

30.2

13

32

RHP

Charley Boyce

2-0

.318

3.92

20.2

6

9

LHP

Trey Holloway

1-0

.174

3.29

13.2

5

7

Florida

pitcher

W-L

Opp. BA avg

ERA

IP

BB

SO

RHP

Bryan Ball

3-2

.270

3.99

29.1

8

22

RHP

Bryan Augenstein

5-0

.169

1.37

39.1

2

41

LHP

J.K. LaCoste

2-1

.288

1.20

15.0

5

3

Razorbacks right hander Charley Boyce was the recipient of a winning decision in 2005 after pitching 5.1 scoreless innings in relief for an extra inning victory.  Boyce was outstanding, holding Florida scoreless from the fifth through the tenth inning. The Gators had secured a 2-1 lead in the game, only to see Arkansas tie things up and win it on a bases loaded fielders choice.

The Gators ripped up Boyce in the tourney. He entered in relief and was punched out by Leclerc, Justin Tordi, and Stephen Barton, who singled in the game winning run.

Among the Florida returning starters who led the Gators at the plate against the Hogs last year are Davis, Leclerc, Jeroloman, and Matt LaPorta.  


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