NCAA Baseball News

Florida baseball moving closer Brandon Neely into starting rotation

Florida baseball moving closer Brandon Neely into starting rotation

Florida baseball’s woes have come mostly during the midweek, but head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is changing up the weekend rotation ahead of a three-game series with Mississippi State in Gainesville.

Right-handed junior Brandon Neely will take over the Friday night slot, replacing sophomore lefty Cade Fisher. Freshman Liam Peterson and junior Jac Caglianone will stay in the Saturday and Sunday spots.

Neely, a preseason All-American reliever, began the season as the closer after serving in the same role for Florida throughout 2023. He last started a game for the Gators in a June 2022 regional game against Oklahoma. In 10 career starts, Neely is 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA.

The change comes following a run-rule loss to Florida State on Tuesday.

“We have to set the tone in games,” O’Sullivan said following the loss. “We can’t keep doing this. We can only come back so many times. We have to do a better job on the front end of games and we’ll figure it out.”

It’s unclear how Neely’s addition to the weekend rotation affects Fisher, who was one of the team’s top relievers last year. Moving him back to the bullpen makes sense, considering Florida’s left-handed options are limited to a pair of freshmen — Frank Menendez and Robert Satin remain following Jacob Gomberg’s season-ending injury.

Neely has a 4.50 ERA through 16 innings (11 appearances) this season, but he’s been excellent since the Saint Mary’s series. He’s riding an eight-inning scoreless streak and has struck out 13 batters to just two walks.

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