The Gainesville Regional has all the Florida that anyone can handle.
In addition to the Florida Gators, the Florida Atlantic Owls, South Florida Bulls, and Florida A&M Rattlers are all travelling into the swamp.
The Gators feature two power hitters in JJ Schwarz and Harrison Bader, who have hit 14 and 13 long balls respectively this season. As a team, Florida ranks 22nd in home runs hit as a team with 52. UF finished second in the SEC East this season, ending up one game behind division champion Vanderbilt.
As for the rest of the teams, there are no real threats to Florida making it out of their home region. FAU was looking like a team that could make some noise, but a three-game sweep at home by Rice makes them look not as great as people thought they were three weeks ago.
3-seed USF has already swept FAMU this season, and have a 13-3 loss to Florida back in February, so no matter who they play on the second day, they will have already seen them. South Florida is not a very good team statistically, ranking outside the top 150 in most major categories.
Florida A&M makes the NCAA Tournament thanks to a MEAC Tournament win last weekend. The Rattlers went 15-9 in MEAC play this year, and had a game against Florida early in the season cancelled because of rain. FAMU will have a tough time, as they are ranked outside of the top 200 nationally in a lot of the major stats.
It could get ugly as Florida pounds some of these lesser, in-state teams. It could be the Regional with the best atmosphere though, as all four teams’ fanbases should be able to get there without an issue. But the Gators should get through undefeated, setting up a likely matchup with Florida State in the Super Regionals.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to GatorCounty.Com