Gator Invasion

The work in progress Ole Miss baseball team hosts No. 1 Florida this weekend. That’s after facing No. 1 LSU last weekend on the road.

After a three-run ninth inning to get past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-6 Wednesday at home, the Rebels moved to 11-9 on the season. They’ll bring their 1-2 Southeastern Conference mark to the ballpark to face Florida, which is 19-3 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.

The Gators beat Florida State 14-8 Tuesday. Last weekend at home they won two of three from Tennessee in the SEC opening weekend.

The Gators are led by junior Harrison Bader, a 2014 second-team All-SEC selection, who is hitting at a .419 clip with 27 RBI as well as seven home runs, which ranks second in the country. As a team, Florida leads the SEC in doubles (53) and fielding percentage (.985), second and third in the nation, respectively.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

FRIDAY, 6:30 P.M.

Florida - Logan Shore, So., RHP, 3-1, 1.78 ERA

Ole Miss - Christian Trent, Jr., LHP, 3-1, 3.45 ERA

SATURDAY, 1:30 P.M.

Florida - A.J. Puk, So., LHP, 4-1, 3.70 ERA

Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, So., RHP, 2-1, 1.55 ERA

SUNDAY, 1:30 P.M.

Florida - TBA

Ole Miss – TBA

Quoting the Rebels

* Mike Bianco on Florida:

“A big weekend for us. A lot will be said about facing No. 1 two weekends in a row. But the truth is, that’s life in the Southeastern Conference. They’re very, very good. They’re very talented. We didn’t play them last year and they still have some guys from two years ago. You’re talking about a club that is the defending Southeastern Conference champions. So we have our work cut out for us. But it’s also a good opportunity since we’re at home. Hopefully we’ll have some good weather, some good crowds, and it's a chance for us to get back in the race.”

* Bianco on freshman Tate Blackman, who had the game-winning RBI vs. UAPB:

“He’s found it. I thought he had a great weekend at LSU. He barreled up a lot of balls, and he’s really starting to swing it.”

* Bianco on a Sunday starter this weekend:

“We’ll go TBA. We’ll figure it out and probably won’t announce it until Saturday night once we get through the first two games and figure out how the bullpen did.”

* Freshman Will Golsan on his first home SEC weekend:

“We got the win (Wednesday) and now we can get going for the weekend."

* Golsan on playing third base:

“The biggest thing is being ready for everything. Being ready for the bunts. Being ready for all the hard balls hit, and just being agile.”

* Golsan on how being an every day position player is improving his offense:

“It’s helping. It’s giving me a little better view of what it is to hit in the SEC and in college in general. Getting better every day.”

* Golsan on home SEC opener with Florida:

“Everybody’s looking forward to it. We’re glad to be back home and get this home stretch with the SEC opener and competing. I think we competed real well (at LSU).”

* Tate Blackman on the Rebels:

“We’ve been close in every game besides a couple. We’re finally swinging it better, playing defense all around better, and pitching better. It’s some big momentum to go into the weekend with a win, a walkoff win and having that belief in our team and one another. It’s great motivation for this weekend.”

* Blackman on his swing coming around:

“Since I would say UCF (weekend), that’s when I started feeling my swing better. Me and Coach (Mike) Clement have been working after practice, just being relaxed at the plate and not doing too much. Just playing the game I’ve always played since I was four years old. We went to the cage and broke down my swing. Just use your hands, trust your hands, and your body will go with it. Don’t try to get too shouldery and don’t try to do too much. When you work with your hands you can hit any pitch.”

* Blackman on his defense:

“I love playing second. My issue now is to try to catch the line drives and not make the errors. I’ve had four errors this year, and two of them are (line drive) catches. I guess I’ve got to see it in my glove. That’s never been an issue before. But I think I’ll be fine with it.”

* Blackman on Florida, his homestate, being here this weekend:

“I do have a lot of buddies who play for Florida. It will be a good time to see them. They’re a good team.”


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