Jordan McPherson / SEC Country
The Florida baseball team has fought its way back to the College World Series.

Florida baseball confident heading into College World Series

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 Tuesday.

Sully, Florida baseball confident heading to Omaha

As the Florida baseball team heads to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series, coach Kevin O’Sullivan isn’t lacking confidence. He knows his offense isn’t the best, but at the end of the day, his team is winning. That’s what matters in the postseason. This quote from O’Sullivan sums it up:

“I keep hearing about things that we can’t do. And I’m sitting here and looking at our record and we’re 47-18. I mean, we do a lot of things well.”

Draft time

Three more Florida baseball players heard their names called during the second day of the MLB draft Tuesday. They were:

  • Shortstop Dalton Guthrie, the defense-savvy junior whose glove work will help him transition to pro ball.
  • Catcher Mike Rivera, Florida baseball’s heart and soul this season is a bulldog on the field, a force behind the plate and the team’s physical and emotional leader.
  • Mark Kolozsvary, Florida’s third-string catcher heading into the season made the most of every opportunity when he came to the field.

They join junior pitcher Alex Faedo, who the Detroit Tigers selected with the 18th overall pick Monday.

The final day — Rounds 11-40 — of the draft starts at noon ET. Florida has a slew of players left on the board who could be selected, highlighted by junior slugger J.J. Schwarz. Other possible draftees include senior outfielder Ryan Larson and junior infielder Christian Hicks, while draft-eligible sophomore Deacon Liput and senior relief pitcher Frank Rubio seem to be on the outside looking in.

Fielding his options

Class of 2018 quarterback Justin Fields — a 5-star dual threat quarterback and the No. 3 overall prospect in the class according to 247sports.com’s composite rankings — visited Florida when he was committed to Penn State. He’s visiting again now that he has opened up his commitment, our Zach Abolverdi has reported. This doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a good sign Florida is in the mix.

More preseason rankings

USA Today has Florida ranked as the No. 22 team in the country heading into the 2017 season. Its synopsis:

“It all comes down to the offense, and whether the Gators’ attack can finally find some momentum under Jim McElwain and produce at the rate needed to compete for a playoff berth. That’s still a concern entering McElwain’s third season in charge.”

The outlet had Florida coach Jim McElwain on the outside looking in of its top-10 coaches who could win their first national championship next season, giving the final spot to Georgia’s Kirby Smart instead.

Hoops Hoopla

Florida’s Canyon Barry is continuing to rack up workout opportunities ahead of the NBA draft. His latest: The Sacramento Kings.

Meanwhile, Devin Robinson is getting some love in one NBA mock draft. SB Nation’s Denver Stiffs page has Robinson going No. 24 overall to the Utah Jazz in its latest mock draft released Tuesday. Yes, this mock draft has Robinson as a late first-round pick even though he has barely cracked the top 45 of the 60-pick draft since declaring.

Even Denver Stiffs writer Daniel C. Lewis has hesitations:

“Devin Robinson is a sleeper Ryan Blackburn likes, but going at 24 to Utah? That’s probably too early. With the Jazz taking Giles and Melo Trimble, that was a draft I didn’t like – too much risk.”

Awards and honors

  • New Florida women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer was named the TSWA Coach of the Year for his work during his final season at Belmont.

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