jj schwarz

Florida Gators baseball: “It was good to see a smile on his face again”

The Florida Gators baseball season is past the halfway point. It may seem like it’s flown by but for a struggling hitter watching fly balls turn into cans of corn, ground balls turn into double plays and his draft stock plummet like the Dow Jones in 2008, it can seem like purgatory.

JJ Schwarz entered what was surely to be his final season in Gainesville ready to make a splash. Everybody remembers the freshman that hit .332 with an incredible 18 home runs. Schwarz helped lead that Gators team to the College World Series that year and his “ceiling” seemed far to0 high to be seen or...

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Florida Gators take series in grand fashion

It was déjà vu all over again on Saturday afternoon.

The Gators loaded the bases with nobody out on Friday night but couldn’t push a run across the plate. Trailing 5-3 on Saturday afternoon the Gators loaded the bases with no outs again. Florida had managed just one run, on a ground ball double play, with bases loaded and no outs in the second inning on Saturday as well.

JJ Schwarz walked up to the plate. The Gators were hitting just 2-21 (.095) and one RBI with runners in scoring position. Schwarz was just 2-8 on the weekend himself.

“We’ve been struggling with the bases...

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Florida Gators vs South Carolina Gamecocks photo gallery

Gator Country’s photo gallery from the Florida Gators 4-2 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday, April 21, 2017.

To view a photo, click a thumbnail. Once it opens up, you can click right or left of the photo to go to the next one. Enjoy!

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Florida Gators hold off UNF 2-1

Dalton Guthrie hit a 1-1 fastball into right field with one out in the fifth inning to bring home Keenan Bell and give the Gators its first lead in a 2-1 win on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium.

Guthrie was 2-14 (.143) in the first three games last week before a 2-4, two home run game on Saturday and a 2-3 performance on Tuesday night. The junior middle infielder that has battled an elbow injury since before the season is enjoying the streak. “It’s a lot better, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It’s very easy to jump off a guy’s bandwagon when he’s struggling,” Kevin...

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Florida Gators’ bats explode to take series at Vandy

The Florida Gators have had a rough offensive start to the season but it seems the bats have woken up over the past week for the Gators.

In three of the past four games, the Gators have scored 10 or better runs, exploding for a season-high 20 runs in the series finale win 20-8 against Vanderbilt.

All 9 of the Gator starters had hits and 8 of the 9 had multiple hits.

The Gators got it going early with two first inning home runs; a solo shot by Dalton Guthrie(who would add another home run later), and Nelson Maldonado’s towering 3 run shot that inched over the 30-foot wall in...

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Kyle Wright blanks Florida Gators to even series

The No. 12 Florida Gators beat Vanderbilt in spectacular fashion on Thursday night but ran into a buzz saw on Friday. For the second year in a row Vanderbilt junior Kyle Wright threw a complete game, three hit shutout, leading Vanderbilt to a 2-0 win, evening the series.

I think that was the best pitched game, by both sides, I think I've seen in 10 years," Kevin O'Sullivan said after the game. "The way both guys, I don't want to overstate this, but the way both guys threw they probably could have pitched in the big leagues if they could have handled that type of an atmosphere. It was...

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Florida Gators sweep season series over FSU

A six-run fourth inning propelled the No. 12 Florida Gators past the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee on Tuesday night. The Gators swept the three-game season series over FSU with a 10-7 win.

Florida got off to a shaky start. FSU shortstop Taylor Walls led the game off with a solo home run to right field, the first leadoff home run for a Seminole players since 2012. Freshman starter Tyler Dyson walked the next batter before recording two outs but gave up the second run of the game when Drew Mendoza doubled home Tyler Daughtry, who walked earlier.

After going down in order on...

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Florida Gators need extra innings to beat Stetson

Freshman Kirby McMullen earned his second win of the season and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th Tuesday. It wasn’t pretty, but the Florida Gators (14-8) ended its three-game losing streak with a 9-8 extra inning win over the Stetson Hatters (8-15).

Coming off of a strong start against Florida State Nate Brown drew the rare road start for a freshman. Brown wasn’t sharp early on, giving up a run in the first inning. Brown gave up five hits over 2.1 innings before Nick Horvath took over in the third. Horvath got out of a jam in the third and held Stetson scoreless in the fourth....

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Auburn Tigers sweep No. 5 Florida Gators

The Florida Gators’ bats have struggled all season but they’ve been able to count on their pitching staff and their defense through the first five weeks of the 2017 season. The gloves let them down as the Auburn Tigers were able to finish off a sweep of the Gators (13-8, 0-3 SEC) on Sunday afternoon.

Florida committed a season-high three errors on the day, including throwing error by pitcher Frank Rubio that allowed the winning run cross the plate in the bottom of the ninth.

“Frank went the wrong way on a bunt play, he should have went to the first base line because JJ's got to...

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Florida Gators handed 14-3 wakeup call at Auburn

Alex Faedo walked just seven batters in 26.1 innings entering the SEC opener at Auburn. He walked six over a forgetful four-plus innings of work in a 14-3 loss to the Auburn Tigers ( on Friday night.

A pitching duel between two Friday night aces turned into a lopsided affair with the Tigers posting season-high for runs (14) and posted its largest winning margin of the season.

Faedo (3-1, 2.93 ERA) entered the game with 21.2 consecutive scoreless innings. The junior, who is projected as a high-end first round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, was off his game and the Auburn batters made him pay...

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Florida Gators open SEC play at Auburn

The No. 5 Florida Gators (13-5) hit the road to kick off Southeastern Conference play this weekend against the Auburn Tigers (14-5) at Plainsman Park.

Florida, picked to finish first in the SEC by the league’s coaches are coming off of a midweek win over instate rival Florida State. Auburn played two midweek games, blanking UAB 4-0 and blasting Jacksonville State 10-1 on Wednesday.

Weekend schedule/Pitching matchups

Friday: (SEC Network +) RHP Alex Faedo (3-0, 1.37 ERA) vs. RHP Keegan Thompson (3-0, 0.64 ERA)
Saturday: (SEC Network +) RHP Brady Singer...

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Florida Gators bats come to life vs Seton Hall

JJ Schwarz stepped into the box with one out and one runner on in the bottom of the first inning hitting just .220 on the season. The junior jumped on the first pitch he saw, launching a two-run home run over the wall in left-center, jumpstarting the Florida Gators 8-0 win over Seton Hall on Friday night.

The home run was the second in as many bats for Schwarz and gave the Gators an early 2-0 lead.

“The first pitch I was just ready for it and put a good swing on it,” Schwarz said.

Seton Hall’s starter,

FGCU hands Florida Gators second loss of the week

Gage Morey took off on contact nearly as soon as the ball left Jonathan India’s bat. The centerfielder picked a spot near the visitor’s bullpen in right center field, tucked his head down and just started running. Some 15-20 steps later Morey laid out and snagged Jonathan India’s potential game-tying hit.

The No. 2 Florida Gators (10-4) fell to No. 23 FGCU (12-2) 3-2 on Wednesday night, falling to 1-4 in midweek games and pushed them to and even .500 (4-4) against in-state opponents.

Kevin O’Sullivan trotted out his 14th different lineup in 14 games, shaking up the top of the...

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Road woes continue for Florida Gators

An uncharacteristic error from third baseman Jonathan India paved the way for a four-run fourth inning and helped sink the No. 2 Florida Gators (10-3) on the road against No. 23 FGCU (11-2), 7-2.

The Gators have a perfect 9-0 record at home this season but continued struggling away from McKethan Stadium with their third loss of the year.

The Gators got on the board first in the third inning. Deacon Liput singled through the left side with one out and scored two batters later when Dalton Guthrie singled. The Eagles countered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame.

The...

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Florida Gators use a strong seventh inning to take series

Jonathan India walked to the plate in he seventh inning of a game that was quickly getting away from the Florida Gators (9-2). The Columbia Lions (0-2) pushed a run across the board in the sixth inning and Florida’s bats, which looked to wake up on Friday night, had run cold.

India didn’t waste time. He swung at the first pitch and slammed a two-out ground-rule double into the visitor’s bullpen. That started a two-out rally that eventually led to the Gators’ 7-2 win on Saturday night.

A scary moment followed India’s double. JJ Schwarz hit a line drive right back at Columbia...

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Photo Gallery: Florida Gators sweep Miami Hurricanes

The No. 2 Florida Gators took the first two games against its instate rival, the No. 17 Miami Hurricanes. Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Florida’s pitching staff had held Miami scoreless through 18 innings.

Miami came in on Sunday looking not just for their first run of the weekend but also to avoid being swept by the Gators for the second time since 2012.

Jackson Kowar gave up an early lead but his offense picked him up, scoring six runs to finish off the sweep.

Below is Gator Country’s photo gallery from the Sunday sweep.

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Florida Gators baseball weekend recap

The Florida Gators swept the William & Mary Tribe to get 2017 started off with a bang. Kevin O’Sullivan’s squad got off to a slow start on Friday night but earned a comeback win before flexing their muscle on a rebuilt ballclub.

Player of the Weekend: Austin Langworthy

The Gators had strong crowds at McKethan Stadium all weekend long but nobody had a cheering section like Williston native Austin Langworthy. The freshman made his first start on Friday but really shined over the rest of the weekend.

Langworthy, a two-way player, got on the mound Saturday...

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Florida Gators take series over William & Mary

The No. 2 Florida Gators (2-0) had another comeback win on Saturday, but they didn’t make fans stress this one out, cruising to a 8-1 win to take the season opening series. Florida has won all 10 opening series during Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure.

William & Mary (0-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, just as they did on Friday night.

Ryder Miconi led the frame off with a single up the middle and advanced to second when Charles Ameer wore a 94 MPH Brady Singer fastball on the forearm. Brandon Raquet’s fielder’s choice gave the Tribe runners on the corners and...

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Florida Gators open baseball season with a win

The Florida Gators needed a run scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning to avoid its first loss in a season opener since 2013, but they came away with a win over William and Mary, 5-4 on Friday night.

Junior Alex Faedo, a presumed top-10 pick in the upcoming MLB Draft earned the start. Faedo led the Southeastern Conference with 13 wins in 2016 but was off his game Friday. Faedo gave up one hit in the first before getting out of the first. He retired the first two he faced in the second inning before Brandon Raquet launched an opposite field home run, giving the Tribe an early lead....

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Blake Reese finding his place with Florida Gators

It was the top of the seventh at the Hoover Met during the SEC Tournament. The Florida Gators had blasted their way to an 11-2 lead over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Sensing a win in hand, Kevin O’Sullivan started to empty his bench.

Blake Reese pinch-hit for Dalton Guthrie with Nelson Maldonado on first base and one out. Reese was just 1-5 (.200). He had struggled all season to find a place on the team, serving mainly as a pinch runner.

“It's not like high school ball. There's a big jump,” Reese said of his freshman season. “There's a big learning curve and some people adapt...

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JJ Schwarz powers Gators to College World Series

Florida third base coach Craig Bell congratulates JJ Schwarz (22) after Schwarz hit a grand slam against Florida State in Game 3 of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016. Florida won 7-0. (AP Photo/Ronald Irby)

Florida third base coach Craig Bell congratulates JJ Schwarz (22) after Schwarz hit a grand slam against Florida State in Game 3 of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016. Florida won 7-0. (AP Photo/Ronald Irby)

GAINESVILLE — JJ Schwarz took a moment to clear his mind when he stepped into the batter’s box in the fifth inning.

Florida was up 2-0 and was in search of one big hit to all but seal a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series. Schwarz went to the plate with the bases loaded looking to deliver the final blow to Florida State.

And on a 1-0 count from FSU pitcher Jim Voyels, the Palm Beach Gardens native sealed both teams’ fates, hitting a grand slam — and later adding an RBI double — powering the Gators to a 7-0 win and booking a trip to the CWS.

“Going into the at-bat, there was a lot running through my mind,” Schwarz said. “I knew he was going to throw a slider eventually … so I got one over the plate, one that I liked and just put a good swing on it.”

It’s the second straight season Florida (52-14) is heading to Omaha and the 10th time in program history. It’s also the fifth CWS trip in the last seven years under coach Kevin O’Sullivan.

UF entered the season as the top-ranked team in the country, and facing immense pressure the entire year, Florida prevailed and got back to Omaha.

“I just can’t say enough about our team,” O’Sullivan said. “We had the No. 1 ranking going into the season, and we got some guys that are going to be high draft (picks), and it’s very difficult to juggle those things.

The Florida team celebrates a 7-0 win over Florida State in Game 3 of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Irby)

The Florida team celebrates a 7-0 win over Florida State in Game 3 of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Irby)

“I couldn’t be more proud the way they’ve handled the expectations from a team standpoint and how selfless they were individually. I’m just proud we have an opportunity to go back to Omaha.”

Florida opened the scoring after Dalton Guthrie scored on a Cole Sands wild pitch, and Peter Alonso added his fourth postseason home run in the third inning to double the Gators’ lead before Schwarz’s home run ended all hope of a FSU comeback.

After winning the opening game of the Super Regional, Florida State (41-22) didn’t have the pitching depth to match the Gators staff.

FSU left 11 men on base Monday night and failed to capitalize on UF starting pitcher A.J. Puk’s inability to find the strike zone. Florida State got its first two runners on base in the first, but came away with nothing after Puk struck out the next two hitters and got Dylan Busby to line out softly to second.

Once Dane Dunning came in on in relief for the Gators, the Seminoles weren’t able to get anything going offensively. The junior righty pitched 4 ⅓ scoreless innings. FSU was held scoreless for the final 22 innings of the Super Regional.

“We hope and pray that we never come back down here again for a Super Regional,” FSU coach Mike Martin said jokingly. “But I’m proud of these young men and what they accomplished this year.”

Now the Gators shift their attention to Coastal Carolina, who upset eighth-seeded LSU in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, next Sunday at 8 p.m.

After losing two one-run games to Virginia last year in Omaha, the Gators will be motivated to win the program’s first national title.

“I’m excited for this trip to Omaha because we got a lot of unfinished business we need to take care of,” Buddy Reed said.

Florida Gators win Super Regional over FSU

Mike Rivera jumped to his feet, threw Shaun Anderson’s slider into the air and the Florida Gators dugout erupted when Florida State senior John Sansone swung at strike three in the bottom of the ninth, sealing a 7-0 win.

For the fifth time in the last seven years under Kevin O’Sullivan, the Gators are heading to Omaha.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the way they’ve handled the expectations from a team standpoint, and how selfless they were individually,” O’Sullivan said after the game. “I’m just proud that we have an opportunity to go back out to Omaha and have these guys...

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Florida Gators sweep Gainesville Regional

Dalton Guthrie fielded a ground ball cleanly, waited for Deacon Liput to get to second base and calmly flipped the ball for the final out of the Gainesville Regional. Shaun Anderson pumped a fist on the mound but that’s as far as the celebration would go as the Florida Gators swept the Gainesville Regional with a 10-1 win on Sunday night over Georgia Tech.

The win was Florida’s 50th of the season.

“We’ve got some work to do this week,” Kevin O’Sullivan said of his team. “Obviously our ultimate goal is to get to Omaha and win a National Championship.”

That’s been the...

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NCAA Gainesville Regional Preview: Florida Gators baseball

Story written by Jackson Ramer
The Florida Gators baseball team was rewarded with the No. 1 overall national seed for the second time under head coach Kevin O'Sullivan –previously done in 2012. This is the Gators 32nd overall appearance in regional play and a school-record 9th straight with Kevin O'Sullivan as the head coach.

Entering regional play with a 47-13 record, the Gators are looking to move on to the Super Regional's for consecutive years for the first time since the 2011-2012 seasons.

On Friday night at 6 p.m. Florida will host fourth-seeded, and...

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Florida Gators drop SEC Tournament finale to Aggies

The Florida Gators quest for an eighth SEC Tournament Championship was halted by Texas A&M as the Aggies used four runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth to beat Florida 12-5.

Florida sent out Logan Shore to the mound. The junior had missed a scheduled start earlier in the week and had yet to throw in Hoover. With Regionals starting next week Shore would be on a strict pitch count limit. The SEC Pitcher of the Year lasted just one inning, giving up a run on two hits in the first inning.

Frank Rubio replaced Shore on the mound and earned two quick outs in the second. A trio...

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Florida Gators run rule No. 1 seed Mississippi State

JJ Schwarz came a home run away from being the first player to ever hit for the cycle in the SEC Tournament as the Florida Gators beat Mississippi State 12-2 via run rule in seven innings on Friday night.

JJ Schwarz doubled home a run in the first inning against LSU in the Florida Gators first SEC Tournament game. Schwarz went 0-3 with a walk after that. The Gators had been sporting postseason facial hair, and Schwarz was doing his best to play along with some blonde stubble above his upper lip. The loss brought out a razor, and with it Schwarz’s bat. The sophomore is 6-8 with two runs...

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Reyes, Rivera push Florida Gators past Crimson Tide

The Florida Gators were back on the diamond less than 12 hours after a heartbreaking 14-inning loss to LSU and playing for their SEC Tournament lives against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“Once I got home I took a shower and passed out,” Mike Rivera said after catching 14 innings on Wednesday. “[My knees] are sore, my whole body is sore.”

Logan Shore was scratched from the starting lineup with a stomach illness, thrusting freshman Brady Singer into a spot-start, the first start of his career. Kevin O’Sullivan started five freshmen, including outfielder Danny Reyes, whose RBI double...

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Error of their ways, Florida Gators drop opener to LSU

The Florida Gators entered Friday night’s game against the LSU Tigers with a nation best .986 fielding percentage, committing just 28 errors in 52 games. Two errors in the eighth, and three on the night sunk Florida on Friday night, dropping game one to LSU 5-4.

Making his first appearance since April 12 (vs. FSU), Nick Horvath took the mound in the eighth for the Gators (43-10, 18-9 SEC) in a tie game. The utility player earned the first out of the inning on a ground ball, but the speedy Cole Freeman reached on an error, the second of the inning, to get the LSU (38-16, 18-10) rally...

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Florida Gators baseball sends four to Team USA

For the second year in a row the Florida Gators baseball team will have four players representing the University of Florida on the 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

Sophomores Dalton Guthrie, Alex Faedo and Mike Rivera will join the team for the first time while JJ Schwarz will return to the team for the second summer in a row.

“I think it’s the highest honor a player can get,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We were very fortunate last year to have four guys and follow it up with four different players, actually this is JJ’s second trip. It’s awesome. It’s...

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Florida Gators beat USF, finish 14-0 in midweek games

The No. 1 Florida Gators (41-8) overcame a sluggish start to finish off the USF Bulls, 11-4, and complete a 14-0 record in midweek games. The Gators 41st win of the season also tied a school record (last accomplished in 2011) as the most wins in regular season play.

“To be able to finish off the midweek games undefeated is a remarkable accomplishment for this team,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It’s not easy to do, number one because of the opponents we play and having the ability to bring your game to the park every day. It’s easy to have a let up when you have a really...

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