Alabama (13-10) was shutout for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to South Alabama on Tuesday night. Missed opportunities proved to be the Tide's ultimate demise. The most notable of those missed opportunities was the failure to score a single run in the top of the 6th inning despite having the bases loaded with no outs. It should go without saying that Alabama cannot repeat those mistakes on the road against #4 Florida this weekend.

Florida (21-5) has established itself as a force to be reckoned with this season. The Gators are in the top five of every major batting category in the SEC, while also boasting one of the best pitching staffs in the conference. However, they are 2-2 in their last four games and needed an 8th inning comeback to defeat Stetson 9-6 on Tuesday.

Probable starters for Florida during this weekend's series are RHP Aaron Rhodes, RHP Logan Shore, and RHP Dane Dunning. This will be Rhodes' first start of the season. He has appeared in seven games and currently has a 4.05 ERA. Shore, who is normally a game one starter, will get the start for game two. He is 3-2 on the season with a 2.17 ERA. Dunning is Florida's most consistent pitcher by far seeing that he is 4-0 this season with a 1.59 ERA. Dunning has only allowed six runs in over 28 innings pitched.

The Gators' pitching staff may be in for a long weekend if Alabama plays like they did on the road against Mississippi State. The Tide is slowly becoming more consistent at the plate. Mikey White is among the most consistent as he leads the team in batting average (.410) and is tied for most triples (5) in the SEC. He has at least one hit in all but four games. Casey Hughston is just as dangerous with a .402 batting average and 26 RBIs. The steady improvement of players like Chandler Avant has contributed to the team's consistency. Avant has 16 hits over his last 10 games and boasts a .287 batting average.

Consistency at the plate is important, but Alabama's focus for Florida should shift towards the mound. Pitching continues to be the Tide's Achilles' heal with a team ERA of 3.90. Mitch Gaspard should be concerned as his pitchers prepare to face one of the best lineups in the country. The Gators get on base often and also carry a lot of power. Left fielder Harrison Bader leads the SEC in home runs (7) and RBIs (31), yet he does not lead the team in hits. That title belongs to second baseman Dalton Guthrie (38). Third baseman Josh Tobias rounds out the trio of power hitters with a team leading .391 batting average.

Florida swept the Crimson Tide in three games last season, but Alabama still owns the all-time series 55-54. Thursday's game was postponed due to inclement weather. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday with the first game beginning at 2:40 pm CT. The final game is set to begin on Saturday afternoon at 12:00 pm CT.

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