Wounds from the 2021 Gainesville Regional are beginning to heal for Florida baseball after it was sent home early by South Florida and South Alabama.
The College World Series winds down this week and instead of observing from the comfort of their homes, nine athletes, including left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco and shortstop Josh Rivera, will pack their gear and head out to their Summer League assignments.
Barco and Brandon Sproat have been assigned to represent the Gators for the two 24-man USA Collegiate Teams— the Stars and the Stripes.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan will stay close with his pitchers and serve as the pitch coach for the USA Collegiate National team, he announced Wednesday.
Teammates Josh Rivera and left-handed Timmy Manning have been assigned to the Cape Cod League based in the Massachusetts area. Rivera will join the Chatham Anglers, while Manning becomes a member of the Harwich Mariners pitching club.
Outfielders Sterlin Thompson and freshman Tucker Talbott head southbound on the Florida turnpike to compete in the Florida Collegiate Summer League located around the Orlando metropolitan area. Thompson takes his road trip to join the Winter Park Diamond Dogs, and Talbott improves his technique with the Seminole County Snappers in Sanford.
The remaining Gators will travel solo to their new assignments. Freshman Ryan Cabarcas returns to the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League in Wisconsin. The left-handed pitcher appeared in two games and threw 2.2 innings of relief.
Right-handed pitcher Blake Purnell travels to Hampton, Virginia, to fly with the Peninsula Pilots bullpen. Catcher Wyatt Langford rounds out the list of Florida athletes as he gets prepared to join the Charlottesville Tom Sox of the Valley League in Virginia.
The assignments open a door of opportunity for the players to improve their skills and showcase their talents before taking the next step in their college careers or move on the professional level of the game.
Contact Jesse Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352
CORRECTION - This article initially incorrectly reported Tommy Mace would pitch for Team USA instead of Barco