TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State dropped the series finale to Florida 10-7 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Taylor Walls, Drew Mendoza and Cal Raleigh combined for six hits and six RBI for FSU (21-14), but Florida (22-11) used a four- and six-run inning to sweep the season series.
“I believe in those guys,” head coach Mike Martin said. “They’re down because we got beat by the University of Florida. For me to say it’s just another game, it’s not. We get a two-run lead, the stadium is rocking, everything is going our way – we turn around and give up four. You can’t do that.”
After a perfect first inning from starter Andrew Karp, Walls led off the Seminole first with his fourth home run of the season to give FSU a quick 1-0 lead. After a Tyler Daughtry walk, Mendoza’s first double of the game doubled the Seminole lead.
In the second, Karp struggled and allowed a hit by pitch, two walks and two hits as the Gators took a 4-2 lead. FSU answered with a run in the third on a pair of errors from the Florida infield, the second of which, a bobbled ball from pitcher Kirby McMullen off the bat of Daughtry, allowed J.C. Flowers to score after reaching base on a hit by pitch.
FSU tied the game in the third on an RBI single from Raleigh.
Florida took the lead for good in the fourth inning, scoring six runs on five hits and two walks against three FSU pitchers – Chase Haney (1-2), Will Zirzow and Jim Voyles.
FSU added another run in the bottom of the fourth by opening the inning with consecutive singles from Flowers, Matt Henderson and Walls. After a Daughtry walk loaded the bases with no outs, Florida brought in Nick Horvath (1-0) and the junior struck out Rhett Aplin, Nieporte and Mendoza to end any FSU threat.
Both teams remained scoreless until the ninth, when FSU tallied a pair of runs on Mendoza’s second double of the game. After starting the season 0-for-10 in the series against No. 7 North Carolina, the Minneola, Fla., native has seen his average rise to .313 with four doubles, a home run and 10 RBI in 32 at-bats.
Behind Karp, Haney and Zirzow allowed six earned runs in two innings. Voyles, Clayton Kwiatkowski, Drew Carlton and Alec Byrd allowed three hits, walked three and struck out four over the final 5.1 innings. FSU held the 1-through-5 slots in Florida’s lineup to 2-for-21 hitting with four strikeouts, but the bottom of the lineup recorded eight hits and eight RBI.
For the Gators, Tyler Dyson went 1.2 innings in his first start, allowing three runs. Horvath earned the win, throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit baseball.
After the game, Martin said Carlton, FSU’s opening day starter that has a 2-1 record and 0.79 ERA out of the bullpen, will be used in a different role moving forward.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get to postseason. With our schedule, it’s not going to be easy. But I assure you, we will continue to battle.”
– Taylor Walls’ leadoff home run was FSU’s first to start a game since Sherman Johnson hit one against Samford in the 2012 NCAA Regionals. It was Walls’ fourth home run this season and 10th of his career.
– FSU outhit Florida, 12-10. FSU falls to 18-1 on the season when outhitting the opponent.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).