March 27, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Fourth-ranked Florida State (21-4) fell to No. 1 Florida (23-2) 4-1 Tuesday evening in front of a standing room only crowd of 10,751 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The Gators scored four unanswered runs to claim their first season series over the Seminoles since 2009. The win for UF also snapped FSU’s four-game win streak in Jacksonville, while it was the Seminoles first loss to the Gators on neutral soil, spanning seven games, since Florida’s 16-7 victory over FSU in their inaugural game in Jacksonville in 2007.
“It was a great night it’s just unfortunate that we got beat,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Florida played well, they deserved to win. We played well, had our chances and could not capitalize. Tip your hat to them.”
Florida State held a 1-0 lead until the sixth when the Gators tallied all the runs they would need Tuesday night scoring three runs all on two outs. UF would add a run in the eighth for the winning margin.
Casey Turgeon’s two-run triple in the sixth was the difference maker in the game spoiling a fantastic outing by FSU starter Scott Sitz.
Sitz, making his third start of the season and third career start against Florida, kept the Gator bats at bay allowing just two hits in 5.1 innings as he did not factor into the decision. He was charged with one earned run as he walked three and tied a career-high with five strikeouts. Sitz did not allow a hit until two outs in the fourth when Brian Johnson dropped a bloop single to left.
“Scotty really pitched well,” said Martin. “It’s a shame, he deserved a better fate but you have to credit Florida.
Brian Busch (0-1) suffered the loss as the senior southpaw entered in relief of Sitz in the sixth and issued the two-run triple to Turgeon.
Florida out hit Florida State 6-5 in the game as Devon Travis led the Noles with two hits on Tuesday. Sherman Johnson went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and scored the only Seminole run. In the process, Johnson has now reached base in all 25 games this year.
“They hit the ball where we couldn’t get to it that’s the only way you can describe it,” added Martin. “I thought our pitching was excellent. I thought we played an excellent ball game.”
Stephen McGee registered the game’s first hit in the top of the second lacing a sharp single off the glove of the diving Nolan Fontana at short. He was quickly retired from the base paths as Florida starter Greg Larson got Seth Miller to ground into an inning ending double play on the very next pitch.
Sitz worked around a one-out walk to Brian Johnson in the bottom of the second getting Taylor Gushue and Turgeon out on strikes to retire the side.
The Seminoles struck first on Tuesday night plating a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI groundout by James Ramsey. Johnson led off the inning with a double down the line in right, moved to third on a bunt single by Travis and scored on the groundout by Ramsey to give FSU a 1-0 lead. After a walk to Jayce Boyd, both Travis and Boyd moved up 90 feet converting on a double steal. The Gators would get out of the inning without further damage as Larson struck out McGee and Daniel Gibson came on and got Miller to groundout to short.
Florida puts two on in the fourth as Preston Tucker reached on a walk and Johnson collected the Gators’ first hit of the game on a bloop single to left. But Sitz would keep UF off the scoreboard as Gushue grounded to second to end the inning.
The Gators left two more on in the fifth as Turgeon led off the inning with a walk. Sitz looked on his way to retiring the next three batters but a fielding error at first kept the inning alive. The Jacksonville Beach, Fla., would escape the jam as Daniel Pigott flew out to Ramsey in right center.
The Seminoles squandered a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the sixth loading the bases with just one out as Gibson gave up two walks and an infield single to Ramsey. Johnny Magliozzi (3-0) became the third Gator pitcher of the evening and after falling behind 3-0 to McGee, the freshman right hander got McGee to ground into an inning ending double play to keep FSU’s lead at 1-0.
Florida grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, two-run triple by Turgeon. The Gator second baseman blasted a shot to dead center field as the ball tipped off the diving glove of Ramsey. Zunino and Gushue scored on the play to give UF a 2-1 advantage.
Zunino opened the inning with a single off Sitz, just the second hit allowed by the junior right hander Tuesday night. It would also end the outing for Sitz after 5.1 innings. Brian Busch entered and got Johnson to fly out center but then issued a walk to Gushue and the go-ahead triple to Turgeon. The Gators would add one more in the inning as Vickash Ramjit singled to right center off Hunter Scantling scoring Turgeon from third for a 3-1 Florida lead.
Florida left two aboard in the eighth as Bryant Holtmann kept the deficit at two getting Zunino to groundout to third and Johnson to fly out to left.
The Gators added their fourth run of the game on Ramjit’s second RBI of the evening lacing a run scoring single to left center. He was thrown out at second trying to extend his single to a double.
Florida State returns home this weekend to face Virginia Tech for a three-game league series beginning Friday, March 30 at 6:00 p.m. All three games will air live over the internet on ESPN3, while fans can listen to the game locally on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and over the internet at Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can receive updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball.