Holbrook: “All Eyes of College Baseball on Columbia Tomorrow Night”
COLUMBIA, S.C. — You really don’t have to tell Chad Holbrook about the team Carolina is playing Friday night.
“We’re playing the favorite to win the National Championship,” Holbrook said of the Florida Gators Thursday.
With just 12 SEC games left in the regular season, (7) USC’s SEC series with (1) Florida Friday, Saturday and Sunday features the top two teams in the SEC East. Whoever wins this series will take the outright lead in the division.
“All eyes of college baseball will be on Columbia tomorrow night.”
Florida and Carolina has been a rather one-sided series recently. In the last ten games, the Gators have won nine with the lone win for USC coming in Columbia in April 2014. The last four games haven’t even been close, with UF winning by an average of more than eight runs.
“There’s not one key to this series,” Holbrook said. “We have to play the best baseball we’ve played all year long.”
That may be an understatement. Not only is UF the consensus #1 team in the country, it also has more wins (36) than any other team in the nation and is off to its best start in program history.
Part of Florida’s success stems from its pitching. The Gators lead the nation in strikeouts (448) and rank second in the nation in fielding percentage (.984). Florida’s pitching staff is loaded with likely first-round draft picks Logan Shore and AJ Puk.
Puk was supposed to start Friday night, but Florida changed Friday’s starter to Shore this week, but Holbrook says, Florida’s order doesn’t matter to his guys.
“They’re going to throw three first-rounders at us,” Holbrook said. “It doesn’t matter in what order, you’re still going to have to face them.”
Click the video to watch Holbrook comments Thursday.