Gators open series against Miami tonight
The No. 12 Gator baseball team (5-0) will play the first of a three-game series against No. 10 Miami (3-1) tonight at 6:30.
The teams will play Saturday at 2 p.m. and conclude the series on Sunday at noon.
Tonight's game will feature a marquee matchup between two outstanding pitchers. Reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week Patrick Keating is 6-0 at McKethan Stadium and has a 1.98 ERA in those starts. Miami's Chris Hernandez is 12-0 as a starter after winning all 11 games as a freshman last season, on his way to national Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors.
Tampa native Alex Panteliodis will get the start on Saturday. The freshman earned his first win last weekend against then-No. 8 Louisville, going six innings, giving up five hits and allowing two runs.
Clearwater native Riley Cooper is coming off the best game of his career, hitting a go-ahead grand slam and a career-high four RBI in a win over Eastern Michigan Wednesday night.
Cooper, who is also a receiver on the Gators' football team, said he likes what he's seeing from the team early in the season.
'We're a lot more close as a team this year,'' he said. "I'm not with the guys as much all year because of football, but you can just tell it's just a close-knit group. And a lot of guys are playing really well right now. We're excited about this team.''