mike rivera

A long, trying season ends with the Florida Gators on top

OMAHA, Neb. — The bus holding the Florida Gators is silent. It’s March 19 and nobody dares to utter a word as a chartered bus trucks through dark roads somewhere in Alabama.

The Gators had just been swept in the opening weekend of SEC play, outscored 22-9 by Auburn.

There’s doubt.

This team was following up teams that went to Omaha. Mike Rivera remembers his freshman year, wide-eyed in Omaha, looking around the clubhouse. Richie Martin, A.J. Puk, Logan Shore, Dane Dunning, Josh Tobias, Pete Alonso and Harrison Bader are all sitting there, favorites to win it...

Read the rest here: A long, trying season ends with the Florida Gators on top

Gators enjoy giving Kevin O’Sullivan his first National Championship

OMAHA, Neb — Surrounded by his family Kevin O’Sullivan couldn’t help but smile.

O’Sullivan has gone through a lot on and off the field in the last year, making this moment, watching his players celebrate with their families, watching Brad Weitzel and Craig Bell, coaches that have been with him every step of the way take in the moment.

Winning the final game of the college baseball season is hard. O’Sullivan had never done it until Deacon Liput’s throw to JJ Schwarz beat Beau Jordan to first base.

“It's hard to describe in words. To be able to first have...

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Alex Faedo’s final chapter with the Florida Gators is his best

OMAHA, Neb — With a runner on base, a 2-0 count and the tying run in the on deck circle Kevin O’Sullivan made the walk from TD Ameritrade’s first base dugout to go get his starter out of the game.

Possibly for the final time.

Alex Faedo handed the ball to his coach and walked off the field in what could be his last start for the Florida Gators. In front of him Gator fans and TCU fans alike stood and clapped. Behind him laid countless hitters still wondering what they had just faced.

There isn’t another player on the team that knows Faedo as well as Mike...

Read the rest here: Alex Faedo’s final chapter with the Florida Gators is his best

Florida Gators back in CWS Championship Series

OMAHA, Neb. — For the third time this NCAA Tournament the Florida Gators were forced into the “if necessary” game and for the third time they prevailed.

The formula on Saturday night against TCU is the same imperfect formula Florida has relied upon all season long — great starting pitching and timely hits.

Three runs was enough to send the Gators back to the College World Series Final for the third time in school history (2005, 2011, 2017), where they will meet a familiar foe in LSU.

Alex Faedo started getting ready for his Saturday start in the dugout on...

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Backs against the wall, Gators wouldn’t want anyone else on the mound

OMAHA, Neb. — One by one the Florida Gators walked up a long tunnel from the third base dugout past the batting cages and made a right towards their clubhouse. Other than metal spike clanging on concrete it was silent.

Nothing was said but heads weren’t hanging. This Florida team isn’t for the faint of heart. They’ve already played in an elimination game in a Regional and then again in the Super Regional. After a 9-2 loss on Friday night they’ll need to make it 3-0 in elimination games — after losing to the same team in the previous game — this NCAA Tournament...

Read the rest here: Backs against the wall, Gators wouldn’t want anyone else on the mound

TCU hands Florida Gators 9-2 loss, forces elimination game Saturday

OMAHA, Neb — The 2017 Florida Gators haven’t made anything easy this season and that didn’t change in Omaha.

Facing elimination the TCU Horned Frogs pounded out nine runs on nine hits and four Frog pitchers combined on a five-hitter to force the “if necessary” game in bracket two.

For a while it looked like the game was being brought to you by the strikeout. Sophomore Jackson Kowar drew the start, his first College World Series appearance, and stuck out the first five batters he faced. Kowar was spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate and commanding...

Read the rest here: TCU hands Florida Gators 9-2 loss, forces elimination game Saturday

TCU hands Florida Gators 9-2 loss, forces elimination game Saturday

OMAHA, Neb — The 2017 Florida Gators haven’t made anything easy this season and that didn’t change in Omaha.

Facing elimination the TCU Horned Frogs pounded out nine runs on nine hits and four Frog pitchers combined on a five-hitter to force the “if necessary” game in bracket two.

For a while it looked like the game was being brought to you by the strikeout. Sophomore Jackson Kowar drew the start, his first College World Series appearance, and stuck out the first five batters he faced. Kowar was spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate and commanding...

Read the rest here: TCU hands Florida Gators 9-2 loss, forces elimination game Saturday

Brady Singer dominates for Gators in win over Louisville

OMAHA, Neb — Austin Langworthy knew he hit it well but he’d never hit a home run to the opposite field in a park like TD Ameritrade so he put his head down and hustled to first. The ball kept carrying before it found the left field foul pole for a home run.

The Gators came into the College World Series with 50 home runs on the season but they added two more to power past Louisville 5-1 and advance to the bracket two championship game.

“That was a little different than running around the bases in Gainesville or anywhere else,” Langworthy said. “It’s a big...

Read the rest here: Brady Singer dominates for Gators in win over Louisville

Florida’s Rembrandt: Alex Faedo finishes his latest masterpiece

OMAHA, Neb. — Jim Schlossnagle has seen a lot of baseball in his 27 years as a coach. The performance he watched from Alex Faedo on Sunday was unlike anything he’d seen before.

Faedo had made 50 appearances in three years at Florida so Schlossnagle and the TCU Horned Frogs has a book on the junior hurler. It just, as Schlossnagle put it, didn’t matter.

“Having a game plan and executing against a great pitcher are two different things,” he said.

The canvas for one of Faedo’s masterpieces starts blank. He was the last Gator out of the clubhouse on Sunday. He...

Read the rest here: Florida’s Rembrandt: Alex Faedo finishes his latest masterpiece

Florida Gators end three-game CWS skid with win over TCU

OMAHA, Neb. — The Florida Gators players didn’t know it, but a loss to TCU on Sunday night would have been their fourth in a row at the College World Series.

That would have tied a record that you don’t want your name associated with.

“Last year was close, those two teams just grinded out victories,” Sunday night starter Alex Faedo said. “It just feels a lot better starting off 1-0.”

Getting to Omaha is great. Freshman Austin Langworthy called it “a dream” and admitted that he had nerves heading into his first game under the bright lights of Omaha....

Read the rest here: Florida Gators end three-game CWS skid with win over TCU

Florida Gators blank TCU to open College World Series run

OMAHA, Neb — Alex Faedo walked out of the Florida Gators locker room after everyone else had already spilled out and onto the field. The junior sat quietly before going through his normal pre-game routine. Nobody talked to the stone-faced ace as he sat alone in the dugout or as he warmed up in the left field bullpen.

TCU didn’t have anything to say to Faedo either.

Florida’s ace was unhittable early as the Florida Gators beat TCU 3-0 to open their run at the College World Series.

“I try to pitch big in big games,” Faedo told Gator Country. “I guess...

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Florida Gators unapologetic about being in Omaha

OMAHA, Neb — You’ll have to excuse Kevin O’Sullivan if he doesn’t care what you think about his Florida Gators ballclub.

More than 300 teams started playing baseball back on fields with empty stands in the fall and there are only eight teams left playing baseball this week.

Shortly following the Gators Monday night win over Wake Forest to advance to O’Sullivan’s sixth College World Series, and third straight, questions began coming in questioning how Florida made it this far. How did a ragtag bunch of kids that don’t hit for power, don’t really hit for average and who...

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Mike Rivera drafted in the sixth round of the MLB Draft

The Cleveland Indians selected Florida Gators catcher Mike Rivera with the 192nd pick in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

Rivera, a three-year starter behind the dish for the Gators, is the third Gator selected in the draft, following Alex Faedo (18th - Detroit) and Dalton Guthrie (173rd - Philadelphia). The slotted signing bonus for the 192 pick is $228,000.

A defensive minded catcher, Mike Rivera is a throw back player. He prides himself in his defense, his intensity and his ability to handle Florida’s pitching staff, where he’s caught a slew of first rounders, including...

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Florida Gators score 11 runs in the eighth to beat Mississippi State

It took more than 40 minutes, six Mississippi State pitchers and the Florida Gators sent 16 batters to the plate but, when the dust settled, the Gators had an 11-3 lead in the top of the eighth after entering the frame with none.

Florida had just three hits and had only had two opportunities with a runner on second heading into the eighth inning, but the offensive explosion tied a record for most runs scored in a single inning in the SEC Tournament.

“It’s amazing. I love this team to death,” Jonathan India told Laura Rutledge after the game. “We have a lot of grit, a lot of heart...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators score 11 runs in the eighth to beat Mississippi State

Florida Gators open SEC Tournament with win over Auburn

Six Florida Gators had struck out before JJ Schwarz lined a fastball into right field to start an eighth inning rally. A single and two walks later and the Gators pushed a run across the board when Christian Hicks’ bases loaded walk plated Schwarz to give Florida a 5-4 lead.

Michael Byrne came on in the ninth inning and closed the game out. The save was Byrne’s 14th of the season, a new Florida single season record.

The No. 1 seeded Gators received a first round bye in the SEC tournament and were presented with a trophy honoring their regular season co-SEC championship (split with...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators open SEC Tournament with win over Auburn

No. 7 Florida Gators hosting Ole Miss

The Florida Gators are just one game behind the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC East with three weekends left in the college baseball season before the SEC Tournament. The Gators are coming off of a strong week, winners of their last six games, are looking to stay hot against

How to watch
Friday, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network +)
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network +)
Sunday, 2 p.m. (SEC Network)

Pitching matchups
Fri: RHP Alex Faedo (6-1, 2.62 ERA) vs. RHP James McArthur (3-3, 3.08 ERA)
Sat: RHP Brady Singer (5-3, 2.09 ERA) vs. LHP Ryan Rolison (6-2, 1.84 ERA)
Sun: RHP Jackson Kowar (7-0, 3.90)...

Read the rest here: No. 7 Florida Gators hosting Ole Miss

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...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators sweep season series over FSU

Rivera blasts Florida Gators past FSU, 4-1

JACKSONVILLE — Mike Rivera entered Tuesday night’s game hitting just .234. The junior catcher had struggled at the plate all season but stepped up to the plate in the first inning with an opportunity to break the game open.

Rivera worked the count to 2-2 and got a changeup from Florida State starter Andrew Karp. Rivera waited back and hit the ball high to left field, carrying over the wall and into the waiting arms of a young fan to give Florida a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, leading the Gators’ path to a 4-1 win.

“I did watch it,” Rivera said with a laugh. “Usually if...

Read the rest here: Rivera blasts Florida Gators past FSU, 4-1

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....

Read the rest here: Florida Gators need extra innings to beat Stetson

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...

Read the rest here: Auburn Tigers sweep No. 5 Florida Gators

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...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators handed 14-3 wakeup call at Auburn

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...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators open SEC play at Auburn

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,

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...

Read the rest here: Road woes continue for Florida Gators

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...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators use a strong seventh inning to take series

Faedo, Langworthy lead Florida Gators past Columbia

Austin Langworthy watched the first two offerings from Ethan Abrams sail out of the zone. Sitting on a 2-0 count he was looking for one pitch and Abrams was willing to oblige.

Langworthy turned on a fastball, launching a no-doubter into the night sky over the netting that is in place to protect the street behind right field and into the parking lot of Keys Complex — the first run of a 7-0 win for the Florida Gators (8-2) over Columbia (0-1).

“That one was far,” starting pitcher Alex Faedo (2-0) said after the game. “I’ve seen Deacon (Liput) hit them like that. I don’t know if...

Read the rest here: Faedo, Langworthy lead Florida Gators past Columbia

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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Jacksonville downs Florida Gators with three-run ninth

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A two-run lead proved to not be enough as the No. 2 Florida Gators (3-1) dropped its first game of the season to Jacksonville University (3-1) on Tuesday night at John Sessions Stadium.

The Gators took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning but senior Frank Rubio surrendered two hits to start the final frame. Rubio earned a strikeout before giving way to freshman lefty Andrew Baker. The duo are both vying to earn the role of closer for the Gators but Tuesday was a night they’ll want to move on from and learn from. Baker lost control of a fastball, allowing the two...

Read the rest here: Jacksonville downs Florida Gators with three-run ninth

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...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators take series over William & Mary

Florida Gators baseball places six on All-American teams

The Florida Gators baseball team is less than three weeks from the 2017 season with the goal of getting back to the College World Series for the third season in a row.

Kevin O’Sullivan is confident his club has the talent to just that and on Monday Baseball America seemingly agreed with him when they released their All-American teams.

Friday night starter Alex Faedo was named a First Team All-American, leading a nation-high group of six players that were named...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators baseball places six on All-American teams

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