The SEC’s highest-ranked seed in the NCAA Tournament, Florida is set to begin postseason play later this week as the Gators host the 2023 Gainesville Regional. Here is a preview of each team participating in the 2023 Gainesville Regional, a few things you need to know entering this weekend, and a prediction on who advances to a Super Regional.
2023 Gainesville Regional preview, prediction
We begin here with not only the host, but also the No. 1 seed of the 2023 Gainesville Regional, in the Florida Gators, who also happen to be the nation’s No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament overall.
Led by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, the Gators are coming off a regular season in which they held a 44-14 overall record, which is the highest overall win total of any SEC team this season, as well as a semifinal appearance in last week’s SEC Tournament. The Gators also concluded the regular season at 20-10 in SEC play to be named SEC regular season co-champions, and have impressed this year at home owning a combined 30-6 record in Gainesville.
Offensively, the Gators are batting for a combined .298 AVG this season as a team, and are led by one of the nation’s premier two-way players and home run hitters in LHP/1B Jac Caglianone, who has 28 HR and 76 RBI this year. Florida also has four additional .300+ hitters in Wyatt Langford, Josh Rivera, Cade Kurland, and Luke Heyman, as well as one of the SEC’s premier catchers in BT Riopelle, who had three HR and 10 RBI across three games in this past week’s SEC Tournament.
The Gators pitching staff owns a combined 4.87 ERA this season, and have one of the SEC’s most talented rotation’s, as Brandon Sproat and Hurston Waldrep join the aforementioned Caglianone. Florida also has one of the SEC’s top relievers in right-hander Brandon Neely, while the Gators bullpen also features others such as Ryan Slater, Cade Fisher, and Philip Abner, each of which own an ERA under 4.00.
Likely the most talented team in the 2023 Gainesville Regional, Florida will begin play Friday night against Florida A&M, an opponent whom they previously defeated 17-7 back on April 18.