Baseball completes three-game sweep of USF

Defeating the South Florida Bulls 6-2 Friday night in its 2010 season opener, No. 7/9 Florida Gators baseball had the task of facing them two more times before the weekend was out. Florida (3-0) followed through, taking down USF (0-3) 9-1 on Saturday and coming from three runs down to win 7-6 in extra innings Sunday at McKethan Stadium.

Read all of the details about each game and plenty more after the break!
Continue Reading » Baseball completes three-game sweep of USF

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Florida baseball takes down USF in season opener

Home runs rocketed out of McKethan Stadium Friday night as No. 7/9 Florida Gators baseball (1-0) opened its 2010 season with a 6-2 win against the South Florida Bulls (0-1). Junior second baseman Josh Adams went 3-3 and powered the Gators with two homers and four RBI, while redshirt sophomore pitcher Tommy Toledo started for 3.1 innings after sitting out the entire 2009 campaign with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Read the rest of Friday night’s baseball game story after the jump!
Continue Reading » Florida baseball takes down USF in season opener

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FOUR BITS: More Tebow, Tucker, tennis honors

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been lining up speaking engagements left and right since graduation, and he has recently agreed to be the keynote speaker for Union University’s second annual Roy L. White Legacy Golf and Gala on April 19. Tickets to the event, which will be held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, are at least $50 per seat. More information can be found here.

2 » Gators sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker has been named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award, which honors the best college baseball player each year, is sponsored by Major League Baseball. Tucker was the 2009 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and earned a triple crown for Florida by leading the team in batting average (.364), runs batted in (85) and home runs (15). His RBI mark set a University of Florida single-season record.

3 » Speaking of Florida baseball, the preseason No. 7-ranked team will open its 2010 season against the South Florida Bulls on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium in the first of a three-game series. The second and third games will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday, respectively. The Gators have also earned preseason rankings of No. 9 by two services and No. 10 by another. Baseball finished 42-22 in 2009 and won the SEC East Division title for the first time since 2005.

4 » Sophomore Nassim Slilam and freshman Allie Will were named to the 2010 ITA All-Tournament Team for their performances at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week. Slilam and Will each went 3-0 in their respective performances, and Will improved her singles record to a team best 27-3 this season.

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FOUR BITS: Baseball, volleyball, gym, swimming

1 » The Florida Gators baseball team will be participating in its first team practice and scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 at McKethan Stadium. The event, which is open to the public, is just a precursor to the team’s regular season opener on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. against the South Florida Bulls. Other baseball events including autograph signings and a “Meet the Team” will occur before the Gators’ first game, so stay tuned. Baseball is currently ranked No. 9 in a preseason poll conducted by Collegiate Baseball.

2 » Florida was named one of four regional host sites for the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships in an announcement from the NCAA Tuesday. This is the 11th time in school history and the fourth time in the last six years that the University of Florida has been selected to host regional action. The Gainesville, FL, regional will take place in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Dec. 9-10, 2011.

3 » Ashanée Dickerson has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman Gymnast of the Week for the second-straight week. Scoring her third consecutive all-around title against the then-No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 22, Dickerson is the first Gators gymnast to open a season with three straight all-around titles since 1988. She leads the team with six event titles in 2010. Dickerson and the rest of the No. 4 Florida gymnastics team will face the No. 13 LSU Tigers on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Fourth Annual Gators Link to Pink event to raise awareness for breast cancer.

4 » Gators sophomore Teresa Crippen and junior Conor Dwyer received National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week honors Tuesday. Both Crippen and Dwyer had outstanding performances in Florida’s dual meet against the Auburn Tigers on Jan. 22.

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Bleacher Creatures coming to McKethan Stadium

After a week of voting, University of Florida students have selected “Bleacher Creatures” as the name of the Florida Gators baseball student section at McKethan Stadium. Alexander Pesci, a UF student who submitted the name, has won an autographed baseball from head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, Nike gear and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch before a game this season.

Bleacher Creatures won from a list of finalists that also included Left Field Lizards, McKethan Maniacs, Raucous Reptiles and The Screwballs. OGGOA‘s unofficial poll on the student section name went as follows:
Left Field Lizards (35%, 145 votes)
Bleacher Creatures (30%, 123 votes)
Raucous Reptiles (18%, 76 votes)
McKethan Maniacs (11%, 44 votes)
The Screwballs (6%, 24 votes)

Students who wish to join the Bleacher Creatures can register online. There are a number of benefits to registering including a free Gators t-shirt. Florida’s 2010 season begins on Friday, Feb. 19 against the South Florida Bulls at 6:30 p.m.

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TWO BITS: Baseball section, Werner defended

1 » Football has the Swamp Things, basketball has the Rowdy Reptiles and baseball’s student section’s name is down to these five finalists: Bleacher Creatures, Left Field Lizards, McKethan Maniacs, Raucous Reptiles and The Screwballs. The baseball team is set to throw its first pitch of the 2010 season in one month on Feb. 19, and the University of Florida is prepared to have the student body vote on what to name McKethan Stadium’s student section. The winning entry will receive a baseball autographed by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, Nike Gators gear and the opportunity to throw out a first pitch before a game. Voting begins on Jan. 19, and an announcement will be made on Jan. 25. Students can also register to be an official part of the 2010 student section and receive some special benefits. Check out GatorZone for more!

OGGOA has decided to officially endorse “Left Field Lizards” as the student section’s new name. “Bleacher Creatures” is a slang term that should have been noticed, “Raucous Reptiles” is too close to “Rowdy Reptiles,” “The Screwballs” is not specific enough to the Gators…and we just don’t like “McKethan Maniacs.” If you are a UF student and loyal OGGOA reader, fight the good fight for “Left Field Lizards!”

2 » Florida basketball fans may be growing impatient with senior forward Dan Werner, but head coach Billy Donovan and Werner’s teammates have nothing but respect for the four-year player. “Sometimes I don’t think people understand Dan and what he brings to the team,” Donovan told the Orlando Sentinel’s Jeremy Fowler. “He’s an incredible help defender, he’s very, very smart, you can put him in any position on the floor and he knows what’s going on. People tend to focus on his shooting, but there are so many things that he can do. He is a little limited athletically.”

Wondy Pierre-Louis UPDATE » Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald is reporting that Pierre-Louis’ bond has been set at $85,000 by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. The former Gators cornerback has not yet turned himself over to authorities.

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FOUR BITS: What happens to Chuck Heater?

1 » Hiring George Edwards as the Florida Gators defensive coordinator may or may not determine current assistant defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater‘s future with the team. Will Heater share the role with Edwards, take on other responsibilities with the team, have his job remain the same or even leave for another opportunity? Right now, Gator Nation does not know. What is apparent is that Heater openly campaigned for the defensive coordinator position prior to the 2010 Sugar Bowl. “I’m interested in having a leadership role, whatever it might be,” Heater said in December. He reportedly turned down an offer to join Doc Holliday‘s Marshall Thundering Herd staff as defensive coordinator – does that become a more attractive option for the 33-year coaching veteran?

2 » Losing four assistant coaches (and one graduate assistant) after the 2009 SEC Championship, head coach Urban Meyer has replaced all of them post-haste. Even so, his cornerbacks coach position apparently remains vacant and additional coaching turnover in Heater and/or assistant head coach and defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney (whose name has popped up as a candidate for the recently available head job with the USF Bulls) may very well occur. Perhaps McCarney would even take Heater as his defensive coordinator? There is still a ways to go before this situation is settled.

3 » Florida women’s basketball (9-6, 2-0 SEC) turned in a thrilling 71-68 double-overtime victory against the Auburn Tigers (9-6, 0-2 SEC) Thursday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Senior guard Steffi Sorensen began the second overtime without a point in the contest but drained three treys to lift her team to victory. The Gators led by 20 points in the first half but gave up the lead in the second half as the Tigers won the rebound (58-46) and turnover (22-15) battles. Sophomore center Azania Stewart led Florida with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

4 » Football has the Swamp Things, basketball has the Rowdy Reptiles, but baseball’s student section remains unnamed – until now. The baseball team is set to throw its first pitch of the 2010 season in just over a month’s time, and the University of Florida is looking to the student body for suggestions on what to name McKethan Stadium’s student section. The winning entry will receive a baseball autographed by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, Nike Gators gear and the opportunity to throw out a first pitch before a game this season. Submissions are being accepted through Jan. 15 with the voting lasting from Jan. 19-22. An announcement will be made on Jan. 25. Only students are able to apply – visit for more information.

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