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Gainesville Regional Quick Preview: Beavers to Face Florida Atlantic in Opener

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Florida senior center fielder Matt den Dekker is hitting .355 with 12 home runs to lead the Gators offensively. (Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gm3td/3552921087/">Tim Darby</a>)
Florida senior center fielder Matt den Dekker is hitting .355 with 12 home runs to lead the Gators offensively. (Photo by Tim Darby)

Gainesville Regional Bracket

The Beavers have qualified for the NCAA Baseball post-season for the fifth time in sixth years, and they'll be a #3 seed in a regional for the second straight year. The Beavers were sent to the Forth Worth Regional last season, where they fell to host TCU in the championship of the regional. 

The schedule for opening round games of the Gainesville Regional have been released on the UF website. Here's the rundown:

Game 1: Oregon State vs. Florida Atlantic // Friday, 10:00am PT

Game 2: Florida vs. Bethune-Cookman // Friday, 4:00pm PT

The losers of Friday's games will play Saturday at 10am PT, while the winners will play at 4pm PT. 

Florida (1):

The Gators boast a 42-15 overall record and are 22-8 out of the SEC. As the top seed in the SEC Tournament, the Gators were eliminated in the semifinals on Saturday by Alabama, who went on to lose to LSU in the tournament championship. Florida center field Matt den Dekker paces the club with a .388 average, and Preston Tucker is hitting .341. Florida's team batting average is .308, they've hit 71 home runs on the season, and their team ERA is 4.14.

Florida Atlantic (2):

The Beavers will meet up with Florida Atlantic in the first round of the Gainesville Regional on Friday. FAU is 35-22 on the year and they went 21-10 in the Sun Belt Conference. Their ace, Mike Gipson, is 8-1 on the year and boasts a 3.40 ERA. Their team ERA is 5.28. They're hitting .308 on the year with 69 home runs, led by Andy Mee at .388 and Dan Scheffler at .367.

Oregon State (3):

The Beavers come into the Gainsville Regional at 31-22 on the year and 12-15 in Pac-10 play. The Beavers have hit the fewest home runs this year of any other team in their regional, but at 41, that's still a lot for an Oregon State team. The Beavers also have the lowest batting average (.266) but a good ERA (3.97), but playing in Corvallis in a ballpark that plays big probably has a lot to do with those numbers. Obviously, losing Stefen Romero is going to make things tough for the Beavers, but they'll need a big offensive performance from Adalberto Santos to compensate.

Bethune- Cookman (4):

Bethune-Cookman is 35-20 overall and went undefeated (18-0) in the MEAC. They won their fifth straight MEAC title on Sunday and 10th in 11 years by beating North Carolina A&T 7-4. They're hitting .342 as a team and have hit 89 home runs. DJ Leonard is hitting .429 for the Wildcats, and Jeremy Davis is hitting .396. Their team ERA is 5.22.

--Jake | (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)