Greg Larson Becomes 9th Gator Selected In 2012 MLB Draft

On the final day of the 2012 MLB Draft, senior pitcher Greg Larson became the ninth and final member of the Florida Gators to be selected. Larson was drafted in the 20th round when the Boston Red Sox selected him No. 631 overall. He joins fellow Gators’ pitchers Brian Johnson and Austin Maddox as Red Sox draftees.

Having nine current players drafted is impressive, but it’s not a high for Kevin O’Sullivan’s Gators. O’Sullivan saw 10 current members of the roster drafted in 2009 and 11 selected just last year. In addition to the seven Gators’ commits drafted (more on that to come), it was quite a ride for Florida over the course of the draft.

Six Current Florida Gators Selected On Second Day Of 2012 MLB Draft

Tuesday featured rounds two through 15 of the 2012 MLB Draft and it also featured six current Florida Gators. After watching junior catcher Mike Zunino and junior pitcher Brian Johnson go in the first round on Monday Night, Tuesday saw a flurry of Gators hear their names called.

Two more juniors highlighted the second round. Shortstop Nolan Fontana was selected with the No. 61 overall pick by the Houston Astros. 21 picks later, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Steven Rodriguez with the No. 82 overall pick.

The third round only featured one current Gator, but it was another junior. The Boston Red Sox selected Austin Maddox with the No. 181 overall pick. If both leave, Maddox will join Johnson in the Red Sox’s organization.

Then the wait began. No Florida players were selected in the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds. In the seventh though, two more Gators would go. Outfielder Preston Tucker became the first Gators’ senior drafted when the Houston Astros selected him No. 219 overall. Junior pitcher Hudson Randall was taken in the seventh by the Detroit Tigers with the No. 244 overall pick.

The last Gator of the day to be drafted was outfielder Daniel Pigott who was selected No. 292 overall by the Cincinnati Reds.

The draft continues at Noon on Wednesday.

Florida Gators To Face North Carolina State Wolfpack In NCAA Super Regional

The No. 1 Florida Gators will face the No. 16 North Carolina State Wolfpack in the NCAA Super Regional this weekend in a best-of-three series. The series will begin on Saturday at 2:00pm and continue on Sunday at 1:00pm. If a third game is necessary, it will be played at 1:00pm on Monday. Both weekend games will be televised on ESPNU and the Monday game will be on ESPN2.

The Gators (45-18) have the advantage of playing at home, while the Wolfpack (43-18) have to come into a hostile environment and eliminate that advantage if they hope to advance to the College World Series.

Both Florida and NC State advanced from their own home regions. The Gators needed only three games to advance, while the Wolfpack lost their second game, forcing them to win four to move on. Florida will hope to make quick work of NC State, with the Wolfpack looking at the possibility of pulling off what would be one of the tournament’s biggest upsets.

Boston Red Sox Select Brian Johnson With 31st Pick In MLB Draft; Lewis Brinson, Lance McCullers, Jesse Winker Also Drafted

It was an eventful night for the Florida Gators with five current and future Gators selected in the first round and supplemental first round of the MLB Draft.

Junior catcher Mike Zunino started the night off after being selected third overall by the Seattle Mariners. Zunino became the highest drafted Gator in school history, but things didn’t end there. Junior pitcher Brian Johnson was selected No. 31 overall by the Boston Red Sox, becoming the last player selected in the first round. Three (potential) future Gators were also selected – Lewis Brinson, Lance McCullers and Jesse Winker.

Johnson – a jack of all trades at Florida – was selected as a pitcher and it appears that’s where the Red Sox will work him first. Equally as dangerous at the plate, there are plenty of possibilities for Johnson if he decides to forego his senior season at Florida and make the jump to the Major Leagues.

Brinson – a Coral Springs (Pompano Beach, FL) outfielder – was selected by the Texas Rangers with the No. 29 overall pick. One of the faster players in the draft, Brinson also has a great arm and possesses superb athleticism.

A left-handed pitcher from Jesuit (Tampa, FL), McCullers was one of the nation’s top high school players. It was rumored that he would be difficult to sign due to lower bonuses this year and that could have contributed to his fall to the Houston Astros at No. 41. Falling into the supplemental first round may have solidified McCullers choice to pitch at Florida.

Winker – an outfielder from Olympia (Orlando, FL) – was selected No. 49 overall by the Cincinnati Reds. Seen as a hitter with a big bat and the potential for plenty of power, Winker currently plays center field, but could move to the outside.

Mike Zunino Selected 3rd Overall In MLB Draft By Seattle Mariners

The Florida Gators’ 2012 baseball season isn’t over, but the future of one individual on the roster just became a little clearer. On Monday night, junior catcher and reigning SEC Player of the Year Mike Zunino was selected third overall in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. Going third overall makes Zunino the highest selected Gator in the history of the draft. He is also the first Florida player to go in the first round since Matt LaPorta in 2007.

Zunino leads the Gators in most offensive statistical categories and has been one of the nation’s best players throughout his college career. Having played for a national runner-up last season, he has his sights on a championship this time around. Regardless of if Florida wins the title or not, Zunino’s days in orange and blue may be coming to an end. He has another season of eligibility left, but there is little else he has to prove at the college level. Being selected third overall may have sealed his fate. If you haven’t been watching Gators’ baseball this season, now would be a good time to start. These may be the last few days of one of the greatest to ever play for Florida.

Baseball Recap: Florida 15 – Georgia Tech 3; Gators Advance To NCAA Super Regional

The top-seeded Florida Gators beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 5-3 on Sunday to win the NCAA Gainesville Regional and advance to the NCAA Super Regional for the sixth time in school history. 2012 marks the fourth-straight season the Gators have advanced to the Super Regional.

Florida (45-18) used a little bit of everything to beat Georgia Tech (38-26). Senior center fielder Daniel Pigott and junior catcher Mike Zunino both drove in four runs and three different Gators crossed the plate three times each. Six pitchers combined to shut down the Yellow Jackets in the win, led by junior Brian Johnson who allowed just one run in five innings of work. Johnson improved to 8-4 on the season with the victory.

Florida doesn’t know its Super Regional opponent just yet, but the Gators do know they will host either Vanderbilt (35-27) or North Carolina State (42-18) in a three-game series next weekend. Florida swept Vandy in the regular season only to lose twice to the Commodores in the SEC Tournament. The Gators haven’t faced NC State this season.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Florida Gators Video Of The Day: Baseball’s “Call Me Maybe” Video

It’s the weekend and for most students out there, it’s the summer break. While that doesn’t mean much besides warmer air and more annoying kids outside for all of you year-long workers, summer means more free time for students. We hope that you will be spending more time reading The Bull Gator, as I will be spending more time posting at it. That means it’s time for a new series at TBG. The Gators Video of the Day (GVOD for short) will feature, you guessed it, videos relating to the Florida Gators. They could be Gators athletes or homemade videos made by fans like ourselves. And if you have any suggestions for GVOD, email me at evandagator@gmail.com or TBG at onegameback@gmail.com. We will try our best to live up to the “of the day” part of the title.

After Jonathon Crawford’s no-hitter on Friday, it’s only fitting to give the first GVOD of the year to the Florida baseball team. They produced a stunning version of Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe on what looks to be a team bus. It’s great to see that the guys are having some fun.

Here’s the cast list for the video:

Hudson Randall on the vocals
First row – left to right – Casey Turgeon, Nolan Fontana, Vickash Ramjit, Brian Johnson.
Second row – Preston Tucker, Mike Zunino
Bathroom gypsy – Keenan Kish
Last row – Austin “Mud Dog” Maddox

Let us know what you think. Who had the best part in the video? How did Florida baseball compare to Harvard’s rendition?

Baseball Recap: Florida 6 – Georgia Tech 2; Gators Can Advance With 1 More Win

Although not quite as dramatic as Friday night’s victory, the Florida Gators did win again. On Saturday, the top-seeded Gators defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 6-2 on the second day of the NCAA Gainesville Regional. With just one more win, Florida advances to the NCAA Super Regionals.

The Gators victory was fueled by another impressive pitching performance. Juniors Hudson Randall and Steven Rodriguez combined to allow 12 hits, but only two runs. The two managed to get out of trouble numerous times throughout the game as Georgia Tech left 10 runners on base.

Florida only needed nine hits to seal the win as those nine resulted in six runs. Power came from the usual sources as both junior catcher Mike Zunino and senior right fielder Preston Tucker went deep in the game.

The Gators don’t know their Sunday opponent just yet, but they do know that one more win pushes them forward. Florida will face either Georgia Tech or the College of Charleston at 6:00pm.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Recap: Florida Gators 4 – Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 0; Jonathon Crawford Throws No-Hitter

The Florida Gators started the NCAA Regionals with a bang on Friday night; a bang that came in the form of a no-hitter. Sophomore starting pitcher Jonathon Crawford went the distance and didn’t allow a single hit in doing so. Crawford only allowed one base runner (a walk) through nine innings to lead the Gators to the 4-0 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. With pitching like that, Florida may not need much offense after all.

Crawford wasn’t even alive the last time a Florida pitcher threw a no-hitter. The last one – which also came in an NCAA Regional – was tossed 21 years ago by John Burke in 1991. That’s good and rare company for Crawford and something we won’t forget any time soon.

The win means the Gators will face Georgia Tech – who beat the College of Charleston 8-4 earlier on Friday – at 7:00pm on Saturday.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Florida Gators Earn No. 1 Seed In NCAA Tournament And No. 1 Ranking In USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll

The Florida Gators didn’t win the SEC Tournament, but it didn’t end up mattering in the eyes of those that seeded teams for the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Gators earned the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s tournament and are the new No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll. Florida didn’t have the nation’s best overall record – in fact, 17 teams in the top 25 had less losses than the Gators – but their strength of schedule may have pushed them to the top in both the poll and seeding.

As is expected with being named the No. 1 seed, Florida was also named the host of an NCAA Regional. The Gainesville Regional will be made up of the Gators, Georgia Tech, the College of Charleston and Bethune-Cookman. Georgia Tech and the College of Charleston will start things off in the first game on Friday, June 1 at 1:00pm. Florida will take on Bethune-Cookman later that day at 7:00pm. The regional has games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A final game may be played on Monday if necessary.