GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This weekend’s Super Regional matchup could be déjà vu for the Florida baseball team.
The Gators swept rival Florida State in the 2015 Super Regional to advance to the College World Series, and history is expected to repeat itself with UF being the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Florida also won all three games against the Seminoles during the regular season. The Gators appear poised to win their first national championship in school history, but coach Kevin O’Sullivan doesn’t want his team looking past FSU.
“I hate to put this win it all at all costs type of mentality because there’s so many factors that go into it,” O’Sullivan said Wednesday. “You got to get by Florida State this weekend, which is not going to be easy. I don’t care if we won three mid-week games. That doesn’t mean anything this week.
“I do know this: the more you knock on the door, the more you give yourself an opportunity, percentages say at some point you’re going to end up winning it all. But I don’t want this team to feel like it’s destiny and if we don’t win it all it’s a failure. We got to worry about Florida State on Saturday.”
The Gators will host FSU on Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, with a third game Monday if necessary. UF has won five straight against the Seminoles (a school record) dating back to last year’s Super Regional, but O’Sullivan doesn’t view the familiarity with them as a total advantage.
“It’s a give and take,” he said. “There’s positives and there’s negatives. Positive is we don’t have to scramble for scouting reports, neither do they. The negative is they know us, but we know them. … There’s a little bit of a comfort level.”
Florida State coach Mike Martin probably doesn’t feel as comfortable as O’Sullivan, knowing his Seminoles have a tough test ahead of them.
“Very hard to even dream that you’re going to score anywhere close to this number of runs in Gainesville,” Martin said after the Tallahassee Regional. “The University of Florida has been ranked No. 1 in the country, I’d say 75 percent of the year. We know that we have a strong challenge. It’s one that we know we have to play an awful lot better than we have played down there in the past.”