Rub Some Dirt on It and Play Ball
Karsten Whitson will start for Florida tonight.
Karsten Whitson will start for Florida tonight.
FightinGators.com Insider
Posted Jun 28, 2011


There is no time for a pity party. The Florida Gators are down 1-0 in the best of three series for a national championship in college baseball and they need to win two straight to do it. Unfortunately this Gators’ team has a hard time handling success and end up getting themselves in tight situations a lot. Fortunately, this team has proved it can overcome short downfalls for long term success.

With two weeks left in the SEC schedule, Florida had to go on the road and take two out of three from league leading Vanderbilt and they did so. Not many thought it would happen, but the gators went up there and won the first game and made some believers. Then, all of that was shot down when they were clubbed 14-1on Saturday to fall behind again. True to form, this Gators club won the deciding game forcing a three way tie for first in the conference heading into the last weekend.

With a home stand against Kentucky and South Carolina and Vandy having to play on the road in the last week, Florida looked to just take care of business and all would be well. The Gators won game one and that coincided with losses from Vandy and South Carolina on the same day. It would be easy from there right? Nope.

Florida would lose game two of the series and the others would win on the road. All were tied once again and all had one game left to play. With a ring on the line, Florida crushed Kentucky for the last regular season game and claimed a share of the SEC title.

This is what they do.

On to the SEC tournament and the Gators cruised through victories over Mississippi State and Alabama before doing their usual “got to make it interesting” stumble to Georgia. They beat Georgia again on the same day to get their rightful spot in the Championship game against Vanderbilt and win 5-0.

This is what they do.

On to the regionals where they slaughtered Manhattan and beat Miami twice flexing their muscle in the process that would push them to hosting a super-regional against Mississippi State.

In typical fashion, Florida came out of the gate fast whipping Mississippi State 11-1, then can’t handle their own success and loses game two 3-4. It takes a nail biter to put Mississippi State away 8-6 in Gainesville and earn the berth to Omaha.

This is what they do.

The Gators flex more muscle than all season by sweeping their bracket of the regional. They beat a monstrous pitching roster at Texas and then beat Vanderbilt twice, a team that was the darling of the tournament in Omaha and with two first round pitchers of their own.

This is what they do.

Faced with success yet again, the Gators let a heart breaker slip away from them last night. Don’t take anything away from South Carolina. The Gators had their opportunities to score late in the game and finish it off and the Gamecocks made every play they had to and more to steal the win from the Gators who led most of the game. Even in-game, the Gators couldn’t handle success.

This is what they do.

So now it is time. They have their backs against the wall. They are playing a team that has beaten them three out of four games this season and actually put them in the hole in conference play to start the conference schedule off beating Florida two out of three in Gainesville back in late March. But, Florida found a way to battle back and win a share of the SEC title and put them in position to win the SEC tournament.

They won the tournament and got through the NCAA tournament to this Monday where they were “the team to beat” this week. Now, their backs are against the wall and honestly, I think that is the way they like it. This is what they do.

This team finds a way to scrap after stumbling. Maybe it lights a fire under a relatively young team to get trapped in a corner like this?

Those that are saying there is ‘no way they can win’ haven’t watched this team all year. These guys know how to bounce back. Can they? Recent history says yes. But, you wouldn’t know it from hearing from the fans.


Related Stories
Florida Has Experience With Heartbreak
 -by Scout.com  Jun 27, 2011
Gamecocks Win the Opener
 -by Scout.com  Jun 27, 2011
South Carolina Ends Florida's Season
 -by Scout.com  Jun 28, 2011

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook and a full year of Fightin' Gators Magazine with an Annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from FightinGators.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Florida
[View My HotList]