April 8, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Top-ranked Florida State (26-6) fell to No. 25 Florida (21-12) 8-0 Tuesday evening in front of an announced crowd of 6,514 on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium, the 12th largest crowd in school history.
The loss snapped FSU’s current seven-game win streak while it marked the Seminoles’ fourth straight defeat to the Gators. Florida has now won three in a row over FSU in Tallahassee.
“This game will humble you,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “We were soundly beaten; there is no other way to look at it. You tip your hat to the University of Florida and move to the next one. They did more things right then we did; they deserved to win the game.
“It is going to be extremely difficult, but if our guys play the next 32 like they played the first 32, I can’t tell you how happy I will be and it is going to be unbelievably tough to do that because of course we are moving into a very difficult part of our season.”
Five Gator pitchers combined for the four-hit shutout marking the first time this year the Seminoles were held without a run. Florida State had a streak of scoring at least one run in 56 straight games. The last time the Seminoles were shutout in the series was March 3, 1994 when FSU fell to the Gators, 4-0, in Gainesville.
“You are going to run into something like this,” added Martin. “It happened; you just have to be mentally tough enough to roll on.”
Casey Smit had two of FSU’s four hits on the night picking up a pair of singles in his first two at-bats. Jose Brizuela laced a single off Justin Shafer in the sixth and Ben DeLuzio registered an infield single to short in the ninth.
The Seminoles had their chances to score early as Smit reached third in both the first and third innings put was left stranded on the base paths by Florida starter Danny Young. FSU loaded the bases in the seventh looking to take advantage of a Gator fielding error but Aaron Rhodes got pinch hitter Josh Delph to ground out to second to retire the side. A pair of double plays in the eighth and ninth innings thwarted any scoring chances for the Seminoles on Tuesday night.
Making his first start of the season, Billy Strode (0-1) went 4.0 plus innings allowing just one run on two hits as he walked three and struck out four. The junior southpaw kept the Gators in check through the first four innings allowing just one runner to reach second base. He allowed the first two runners to reach in the fifth before coming out of the game.
Young moved to 4-0 on the year as he scattered just two hits in 5.0 innings of work. The sophomore lefty walked four and tied a career-high with five strikeouts.
The Gators broke the scoreless tie in the fifth plating four runs in the inning highlighted by a three-run home run by Casey Turgeon off Seminole reliever Gage Smith.
Florida pushed its lead to 5-0 in the sixth as Braden Mattson opened the inning with a single through the right side off Peter Miller and later scored on a wild pitch.
UF took advantage of two Seminole miscues in the eighth to plate three more runs for the final margin.
“It’s frustrating but at the same you have to realize its baseball,” said senior captain Justin Gonzalez. “It’s a game and all you can expect from the guys is to go out and give their best and unfortunately our best tonight wasn’t good enough. We will throw this one way and get ready to go this weekend.”
Florida State is back on the road this weekend when the Seminoles face Georgia Tech for a three-game ACC series in Atlanta beginning Friday, April 11.