SIX BITS: Zunino, Horschel, Wambach, Elam

By Adam Silverstein
June 13, 2013

1 » Former Florida Gators catcher Mike Zunino earned his first career MLB start on Wednesday for the Seattle Mariners, opening the game behind the plate and batting sixth. Zunino went 1/4 with a strikeout in the game, registering his first big-league hit during his second at-bat. Had Nick Franklin not held up at third base, Zunino also would have registered his first career RBI.

2 » Billy Horschel is the only former Gators golfer competing in the 2013 U.S. Open this weekend and plans to make a statement with his attire. Should Horschel make it to Sunday, which is likely considering he is fourth in the FedEx Cup standings at this time, he will don a dark pair of pants featuring octopi. Really. See here.

3 » Though no further information was provided, U.S. Women’s National Team star striker Abby Wambach on Wednesday tweeted out this picture of her hanging out with New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes. “Hey @BrandonSpikes55 nice chillin’ with you. Gators nation forever. No doubt! #newpatsfan,” she wrote on Twitter.

Check out three more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!

4 » Florida’s University Athletic Association Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $100.7 million budget (3.5 percent increase) for the Gators athletic program in 2013-14. The UAA also noted that football generates 67 percent of revenue but only utilizes 16 percent of the operating budget. It was also revealed that Florida lost $840,000 by appearing in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, mostly due to the school having to cover the cost of unsold tickets.

5 » Baltimore Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam has not yet signed with his team but did ink a multi-year endorsement deal with Under Armour. “I am very honored to join the elite Under Armour family and partner with the fastest growing apparel brand in the world,” said Elam, obviously in a press release. “Under Armour’s commitment to cutting-edge products will help me perform at my best.” Elam will be wearing Under Armour products (spikes, gloves, etc.) during NFL games and practices while also making promotional appearances for the company.

6 » Former Gators gymnast Elfi Schlegel on Wednesday became the fifth student-athlete in school history to be named to the Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Joining Carlos Alvarez (football), Tracy Caulkins (swimming), Cris Collinsworth (football) and Megan Neyer (diving), Schlegel told Florida’s website that being a member of Gator Nation has undoubtedly paid off for her both and off the mats. “I feel like life at the University of Florida and living the life of an NCAA student-athlete, it doesn’t seem to end and for that, I’m thrilled. It is such an honor to receive this prestigious award,” she said. “This is another confirmation that my choice in attending the University of Florida was a great one. I was able to follow my dream of gymnastics and tying it in with broadcasting. It is just a wonderful honor to share with the other four Gators already in the Academic All-America Hall of Fame. I will certainly take this award home to Toronto and display it and be thrilled to talk about the wonderful life and years I had and continue to have as a Gator.” Schlegel, who competed in the 1980 Moscow Olympics for Canada and was a six-year member of her country’s national team, won the SEC all-around title in 1983, three league individual event titles and 12 NCAA Regional event crowns. She is currently an Olympic event broadcaster with NBC Sports and has been since 1992.

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