Alex Martin Smith/SEC Country
Tim Tebow is in his rookie minor league season for the Charleston Fireflies.

What it’s like playing minor league baseball with Tim Tebow

Welcome to another installment of Good Morning, Gators, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering Florida athletics with Florida beat writer Jordan McPherson. Here’s a look at what you might have missed on Thursday.

Playing baseball with Tim Tebow

The Bradenton Herald’s David Wilson wrote an interesting piece on what it’s like playing minor league ball with Tim Tebow from the perspective of Desmond Lindsay, the top outfielder of the Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies. An excerpt from the piece:

“The position has its physical demands — it’s a lot of ground to cover roaming the middle of the outfield — and has its nuances. As the center fielder for Class A Columbia, Lindsay is the captain of Fireflies’ outfield. He helps manage alignments and has the responsibility to call off the right or left fielder when pursuing fly balls. He has to be vocal and assertive.

Sometimes this means shouting instructions at Tim Tebow.

‘It’s been fun,’ Lindsay said. ‘He’s honestly just a good guy to have around the team.’”

Rounding the bases

Four quick hits about the Florida baseball team:

  • Michael Byrne, Florida baseball’s closer and a walk-on player, is having a phenomenal sophomore season. He leads the Gators in ERA and has a school-record 16 saves, which is tied for first nationally. But most don’t know that he almost didn’t come to Florida.
  • Byrne and junior Alex Faedo were named All-Americans by Baseball America. Faedo is a second-team member, while Byrne was selected to the publication’s third team.
  • Five Florida players landed on Baseball America’s top 500 MLB draft prospects list. They are: Faedo (No. 10), shortstop Dalton Guthrie (No. 169), catcher Mike Rivera (No. 176), catcher/first baseman/designated hitter JJ Schwarz (No. 375) and catcher Mark Kolozsvary (No. 433). The three-day draft begins Monday.
  • Coach Kevin O’Sullivan expects Ryan Larson to return to the lineup for the Super Regional this weekend, which would put the Gators at full strength offensively for the first time this season.

Papa Lochte

Ryan Lochte and his fiancé, Kayla Rae Reid, welcomed their son, Caiden Zane Lochte, into the world on Thursday.

Track and field

The Florida women’s track and field team earned 10 points on its first day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Thursday. Senior javelin thrower Marija Vucenovic led the way with a second-place finish. The Gators also qualified four preliminary entries for the finals Saturday. A full recap and schedule for the final two days can be found here.

Recruiting roundup

Gators in the NFL

‘Live the dash’

The Florida softball team may not have won the national championship this week, but it did live up to coach Tim Walton’s preseason challenge. The Independent Florida Alligator’s Cassie Amundson has more.

Oversleep and miss a recent Good Morning, Gators? No worries. We have all our past editions here.