Florida baseball ready for the College World Series championship
Welcome to another installment of Good Morning, Gators, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering Florida athletics with beat writer Jordan McPherson. Here’s a look at what you might have missed over the weekend.
Florida baseball back in the championship series
Just like it did during the NCAA Regional and Super Regional, the No. 3 national seed Florida baseball team found a way to win with its back against the wall in the College World Series. The Gators followed up a 9-2 loss to No. 6 national seed Texas Christian on Friday with a 3-0 win against the Horned Frogs on Saturday to move into the best-of-three championship series against LSU. Ace pitcher Alex Faedo (7 1/3 scoreless innings) pitched a Herculean game to lift the Gators to the championship series.
In more College World Series news
- With the offense struggling, Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan shook up the lineup order on Saturday.
- The Gators found a way to make baseball fun again: Each time a player hits a home run, he douses a coach with a bucket of ice water.
- Florida and LSU see the upcoming championship series as “just like an SEC weekend — just [with] more at stake.”
- Chip Howard, the longtime University Athletic Association executive associate athletics director for internal affairs, is enjoying the Gators’ College World Series ride before moving on to his next job.
Tim Tebow promoted in Mets’ minor league system
This Tim Tebow baseball thing seems like its going to be a long-term endeavor. The New York Mets on Sunday promoted Tebow — the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback — in its minor league system from Single-A Columbia to the Advanced-A team in St. Lucie, Fla.
An ESPN hypothetical: Alabama’s Jalen Hurts would fix Florida football
ESPN.com’s Sam Khan posed an interesting question on Friday: “If your favorite SEC team could add any active player from the roster of a conference rival to help put it over the top (whether that means claiming a national championship or simply making a bowl game), who would that player be?”
Khan’s choice for the Gators: Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. His justification:
“The Gators have long been searching for a mainstay at quarterback. Why not pluck the guy who was the SEC’s offensive player of the year as a true freshman? Hurts can throw the pigskin (2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns) and run it (954 yards, 13 touchdowns). He has a different skill set from some of the quarterbacks Jim McElwain has worked with in the past, but hey, when you have a great talent, you figure out a way to make it work.”
Football betting lines
Golden Nugget, a sportsbook in Las Vegas, released the betting lines for six of Florida football’s top games this season, and the Gators are favorites in four of them. Among the games, Florida is:
- Favored by 9.5 points against Tennessee
- A 2.5-point underdog against LSU
- Favored by 4 points against Texas A&M
- Favored by 1 point against Georgia
- Favored by 4.5 points against South Carolina
- A 4-point underdog against Florida State
Three Florida athletes — gymnastics’ Alex McMurtry, women’s tennis’ Belinda Woolcock and softball’s Kelly Barnhill — are in Los Angeles for the 2017 Honda Sports Award ceremony, which takes place Monday night.
Gators representing at world track meet
A total of 14 current, former or future Florida track and field athletes have qualified for the IAAF World Championships in London.
Let’s keep talking
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What they’re saying on Twitter
Running back Jordan Scarlett:
Break was great im excited to get back to lab to see these new young bulls in action!
— Jordan Scarlett (@Famousscarlett) June 25, 2017
Center T.J. McCoy:
— TJ McCoy (@Iamtjmccoy) June 24, 2017
First-year athletics director Scott Stricklin:
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) June 23, 2017
Former Florida softball catcher Aubree Munro, who is competing with Team USA:
That weird alien looking arm in the back is mine 😂 Go Eagles. Go Krispy Kreme. pic.twitter.com/arn5DP4lpD
— Aubree Munro (@Aubree_Munro1) June 25, 2017
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