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Greetings from Gainesville: Jim Morris Mum on Pitching

CanesgatorsGAINESVILLE -- Both Jim Morris and Kevin O'Sullivan were quiet about who they would pitch this weekend as the best-of-3 super regional kicks off Friday night.

We do know that Miami ace Chris Hernandez will not go in Game 1. He says he's going Saturday, although Morris says he's going to be flexible.

Hernandez pitched two innings of scoreless relief Tuesday afternoon against the Texas A&M Aggies in Coral Gables.

With Florida not announcing their starting rotation on Thursday, Morris declined to as well. Fair enough.

Morris told me he would start a righty and to figure it out.

OK, here's my guess: Expect either senior Jason Santana – who beat the Gators back on March 6 by going 4 2/3 innings and surrendering three earned runs – or senior David Gutierrez to get the call.

Morris admitted that the UF series was so long ago, it feels like it was played last season so I don't know how much Santana's performance that Saturday night a few months ago will play into the equation.

Gutierrez has been starting of late with Santana coming out of the bullpen ever since the opening of the Georgia Tech series when Santana only lasted 2 2/3 innings in the Jackets' romp.

But Santana was good Sunday against the Aggies, replacing Gutierrez (5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 K) and going 3 2/3 innings with one run off two hits. 

“I have faith in the starter that he will do a great job and I'll be gearing up my game and imagine it's Friday night on Saturday,'' said Hernandez.

Florida's ace is sophomore Alex Panteliodis (10-2), Florida's first 10-game winner since 2005. He was UF's choice to pitch against Oregon State in the winner's bracket game of the regional, and he struck out eight in that win. He beat UM on March 5 by going 5 2/3 innings and giving up on run off two hits with eight strikeouts.

More from Gainesville as we go.

-- George Richards

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