It has been almost three weeks since the Florida baseball team swept LSU in the College World Series finals to win the program’s first national championship. Now 15 of the Gators’ returning players are settled into the summer ball circuits, honing their skills in preparation to defend their title in 2018.
Here’s a look at how each player is doing, organized by summer league:
Cape Cod League
Five Gators are playing in the Cape Cod League in Massachusetts, known as one of the premier collegiate summer ball leagues in the country. The league began its season on June 14, but all five Florida players did not join their respective teams and begin playing until last week.
Of the group, Jonathan India has had the most success. The third baseman is hitting .318 (7 for 22) after six games with the Harwich Mariners and has scored 4 runs. Four of his 7 hits are doubles.
Austin Langworthy, who just finished his freshman season at Florida, is the only other Gator in the Cape Cod League who saw extensive time during his first week of summer ball. The outfielder is hitting .190 (4 for 21) with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored after his first five games with the Falmouth Commodores.
Second baseman Deacon Liput, also with the Commodores, played in one game last week. He went 0 for 4.
Pitcher Michael Byrne and utility player Blake Reese are playing for the Cotuit Kettleers. Byrne, the Gators closer last season who set the school record with 19 saves, has had one appearance on the mound, giving up 1 hit over two scoreless innings in relief. Reese has appeared in one game and is 0 for 2 with an RBI and a stolen base.
Six Gators — all of whom just finished their freshman seasons — are playing in the Northwoods League in Wisconsin.
Outfielder/pitcher Andrew Baker, pitcher Nate Brown and pitcher Tyler Dyson are playing for the Madison Mallards. Outfielder Austin Bodrato and pitchers Nick Long and Billy McKay are with the Kenosha Kingfish.
Dyson, who hit his stride during the postseason and earned the win in the championship-sealing game against LSU, is off a strong start in Wisconsin. The right-handed pitcher, whose fastball registers in the upper 90s, is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA through two starts.
Here’s how the six have fared:
- Baker: five relief appearances, 0-0 record, 1 save, 3 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings (2.53 ERA), 11 strikeouts to 2 walks
- Brown: two starts, 0-0 record, 4 earned runs in nine innings pitched (4.00 ERA), 11 strikeouts to 4 walks
- Dyson: two starts, 1-0 record, 1 earned run in 10 innings pitched (0.90 ERA), 8 strikeouts to 2 walks
- Bodrato: .238 batting average (10 for 42) in 10 games, 2 RBI, 5 runs scored
- Long: three relief appearances, 0-0 record, 9 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings (30.37 ERA)
- McKay: 18 relief appearances, 2-2 record, 8 saves, 7 earned runs allowed in 24 innings (2.62 ERA), 30 strikeouts to 10 walks
First baseman/outfielder Keenan Bell and right-handed pitcher Cole Maye are in Virginia as part of the Valley League. Both play for the Charlottesville TomSox.
Bell is batting .200 (3 for 15) with 2 RBI and a run scored through five games. Maye has had one relief appearance, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits over 2 2/3 innings.
New York Collegiate Baseball League
Pitcher/outfielder Kirby McMullen and pitcher Cam Weinberger round out the group and are playing for the Olean Oilers in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
McMullen has gotten off to a strong start at the plate for the Oilers, hitting .408 over his first 13 games with 3 home runs, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored. On the mound, McMullen is 2-0 with a 4.37 ERA over 12 1/3 innings.
Weinberger, who redshirted during his first year with the Gators, is 3-0 with a team-best 2.21 ERA through his first seven starts. Weinberger has struck out 39 batters compared to 15 walks over 44 2/3 innings.
Correction: The Cotuit Kettleers were misidentified in the original story. SEC Country regrets the error.