Brandon McArthur is a sophomore second baseman for Florida who will contribute a weekly journal to in 2006. McArthur, from Seffner, Fla., made a miraculous return to the baseball diamond last year, two years after being randomly attacked and suffering life-threatening injuries from a punch to the head and fall to the ground. He had a total of three brain surgeries before becoming a key ingredient in the Gators' run to the College World Series title series in 2005. McArthur started 60 games at third base, batting .268 and driving in 30 runs as a redshirt freshman.



March 6, 2006

Getting Better, Despite Some Bumps Along the Way


The night before our first game, Coach McMahon gave us the newspaper article after last year’s season opener, a 5-4 loss to Charleston Southern.


After the team sat and read that article, we were ready to play right then. During our opening weekend against Cincinnati, our bats came alive, and the pitching dominated as we outscored the Bearcats 40-8 over the three-game series.


That Wednesday, we hit a little bump in the road before we left to go play in-state rival Miami. Mercer came into town and knocked us off 3-2.


Luckily, we didn’t sit at home and think about that loss too much. Right after the game was completed, the entire team went straight over to the gym to get our second lift of the week in. Following the workout, we picked up our travel bags and went home to pack for Coral Gables.


It seemed like when the team stepped on the bus the next morning, we had the look in our eyes of going to war against the Hurricanes down south. As a group, we hadn’t been successful there since I arrived at UF, so we wanted to gain some respect.


For the first time in 50 years, we were able to battle through three very close games to sweep Miami.


The midweek game last week was a 15-5 victory over Florida A&M in which everything seemed to come together.


Last weekend, we hosted The Pepsi Baseball Classic against Missouri, Ohio State and Wake Forest - three solid teams who all said they were excited to play us.


We opened on Friday night against Mizzou and got blown away. Max Scherzer pitched a very good game for the Tigers, and it seemed as though every time they swung the bat, the ball was hit into the gaps.


We played Ohio State the next afternoon and emerged victorious.


Sunday rolled around and it was us against Wake Forest for the tournament championship. Although it was a close game, we were on the short end of a 4-0 score.


Another huge rival came to town in the form of Florida State on Tuesday night. After sweeping the Seminoles in the Super Regional last June to advance to the College World Series, they wanted to jump right back on the field to play us again. FSU collected a 6-4 win in front of a packed house at McKethan Stadium.


Although we have struggled to get everything rolling, as Coach McMahon says, we continue to get better every day.

Brandon McArthur


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Great Expectations (2/8/06)


(photo courtesy of Florida Media Relations Office)