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March 10, 2013
In recent years, Florida had the advantage of one of the most potent offensive lineups in college baseball. UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan watched as a team loaded with All-Americans shelled one frustrated pitcher after another.
Those times are no longer in play and that was never more clear than this weekend, when it was the Gators (8-9) watching the opposition round the bases over and over.
Indiana(8-3) shredded through Florida's pitching and was led by sophomore Kyle Schwarber, who went 10 for 14 with a homer and four RBI against the Gators.
"Now I know how it feels," O'Sullivan said. "You're always turning around and it looks like he's coming up again. I'm not quite sure I've ever seen a guy have a weekend like that."
Florida was haunted defensively for most of a series it lost two games to one, but Sunday was just as much about Indiana's ability to pitch. Hoosiers starter Kyle Hart went 7.2 innings and didn't allow his first run until the Gators notched four unearned runs in the eighth inning. By comparison, Florida had five pitchers combine to throw 7.1 innings.
The Gators' offense was also present in brief spurts Saturday, when Florida rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-4. O'Sullivan called the game his team's best resolve win of the season, but the Gators faced the same struggles they saw all weekend during seven of Saturday's innings.
"We need to swing the bat better," sophomore left fielder Justin Shafer said. "We didn't have a good weekend hitting, all of us. It happens, but we've just got to get better."
O'Sullivan made sure to repeatedly credit Indiana for the series, saying the Hoosiers deserved to win and are a team people will be talking about toward the end of the year.
"This is very equivalent to playing an SEC series, in my opinion," O'Sullivan said.
Freshman RHP Jay Carmichael: Consistently Florida's best relief pitcher, Carmichael was the anchor in Saturday's win. He threw 5.2 innings, striking out four and allowing three hits and one run while grabbing his second victorious decision of the season.
Sophomore 2B Casey Turgeon: Florida's only consistent hitter over the weekend went 7 for 11 during the series with two walks and three RBI. That was spiked when Turgeon went 4 for 4 with three RBI during Saturday's win. He also had another mostly flawless defensive weekend at second base.
Starting pitching: Florida's starting rotation has yet to earn a single victorious decision through 17 games. Starters were just as slow early in games as the offense, allowing at least one first-inning run in each game of the series. Jonathon Crawford was a highlight, going 6.1 innings in Friday's game. But 11 of the 15 earned runs given up to Indiana were allowed by starting pitching.
Freshman OF Harrison Bader: After a big weekend against Miami, Bader found trouble this weekend in the form of 1 for 10 at the plate. He also committed Florida's only error of the weekend in Friday night's loss.
No. 18 Florida State (15-0) comes to Gainesville Tuesday night at 7 for the first meeting of the season between the two in-state rivals. The Seminoles have six lineup regulars batting .302 or better and will likely start sophomore RHP Luke Weaver, who is currently 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA. Florida had not determined a starting pitcher as of Sunday. It will be Florida's last non-conference game before SEC play begins Friday against Kentucky.