March 17, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Seventeenth-ranked Florida State (9-7) fell to 25th-ranked Florida (10-7) 5-4 Tuesday evening at Alfred McKethan Stadium. The Seminole fought back from two runs down in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Gators plated the winning run on a Buddy Munroe walk-off single to deep right center in the bottom of the inning.
The two intra-state rivals battled it out for three hours and 51 minutes on Tuesday as the game featured three ties and three lead changes.
With the Seminoles trailing by two runs heading into the ninth, Florida State tied the game on an RBI ground rule double by Tommy Oravetz and a sacrifice fly RBI by Jason Stidham. The first four batters to the plate in the ninth reached on three consecutive hits and a walk off Patrick Keating. With the bases loaded, the Gators turned to Tony Davis (1-0). After giving up the sac-fly to Stidham, the Florida reliever registered a strikeout from Ohmed Danesh and fly out to right by Stephen Cardullo to keep the game tied at four.
In the bottom half of the inning, Florida got the first two batters on via a single off Jimmy Marshall (1-1). After getting Riley Cooper looking on strikes, the Seminoles intentionally walked Clayton Pisani to load the bases in hopes for an inning ending double play. But Munroe had other thoughts lacing a Marshall offering to deep right center, his third hit of the evening, for the walk-off victory.
With the loss, Florida State’s win streak over the Gators ends at three, while the Seminoles remain winless on the road this year (0-4). Florida has won two straight at home over Florida State and now leads the all-time series in Gainesville at 51-43.
“This was a hard one, but you have to credit Florida, they did what they needed to do to win,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I was pleased with the fight that we showed tonight. It was obviously extremely disappointing to lose this one after fighting back like that in the ninth.”
The Seminole out hit the Gators 15-10 on Tuesday, but it was the four errors and zero for Florida that would come back to haunt Florida State. Holt and Rafael Lopez each finished the game with a team-high three hits.
Florida threatened in the bottom of the first registering a pair of infield singles, but FSU starter Brian Busch got out of the jam posting back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
The Seminole starter registered two quick outs to begin the second including posting his third consecutive strikeout. The Gators then answered with a single up the middle by Munroe and their third infield single of the game, this time off the bat of Jerico Weitzel. After getting ahead in the count at 3-0, Avery Barnes fouled off seven straight pitches before Busch induced a groundout to Cardullo at short on the 11th pitch of the at-bat to end the inning.
Florida struck first in the bottom of the third on a two-out base hit by Brandon McArthur. Josh Adams registered a one out walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt den Dekker. McArthur stepped in and laced a 0-1 offering from Busch back up the middle scoring Adams from second to give the Gators the early 1-0 lead. The hit ended the evening for Busch, who was on a predetermined pitch count.
In his first career start, the freshman southpaw went 2.2 innings allowing just one run on five hits. Busch struck out four and walked one on 53 pitches.
Geoff Parker was first out of the Seminole bullpen on Tuesday evening and got Cooper looking on strikes for the final out in the third.
The Seminoles looked to tie the game in the fourth, but Stidham was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. After collecting two quick outs to begin the fourth, Florida starter Alex Panteliodis gave up a single to right by Stidham, his second hit in as many at-bats. Jack Posey followed with a rope down the left field line for his first double of the season. The Gators put together a nice relay thrown on the play to gun down Stidham at the plate as the Florida lead remained at one.
Florida State could not capitalize on a lead off double by Cardullo to begin the fifth as the Gators posted a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to keep the Seminoles off the scoreboard. Florida went to the bullpen with one out in the inning as Clint Franklin came on to replace Panteliodis. Franklin got pinch hitter James Ramsey swinging on strikes and Rafael Lopez to ground out to short for the final two outs of the inning.
Panteliodis went 4.1 innings allowing no runs on five hits. The freshman southpaw equaled his season strikeout total on Tuesday posting a career-high five strikeouts in earning the no decision.
The Seminoles grabbed their first lead of the game with two runs in the top of the sixth. Florida State loaded the bases on a double down the left field line by Tyler Holt and walks to Oravetz and Stidham. Following the second pitching change of the inning for the Gators, Posey tied the game with a bloop single to short right center off Greg Larson to score Holt. The Seminoles would take the lead on the next batter as Cardullo picked up an RBI as he was hit by a pitch bringing Oravetz across the plate for a 2-1 FSU advantage.
The lead was short lived as the Gators tied the game at two on an RBI single to right center by Munroe. Parker faced the first two batters in the seventh registering a strikeout and a walk before giving way to Mike McGee. McGee got Pisani swinging on strikes but was unable to get out of the inning giving up the single to Munroe. Weitzel then laced a single to left putting runners on the corners and forcing another pitching change for the Seminoles.
This time Martin called on sophomore John Gast and the sophomore lefty came through getting Barnes to ground out into a fielder’s choice to keep the game tied at two.
Florida State looked to regain the lead in the seventh loading the bases with only one out, but Billy Bullock came out of the bullpen and got Stuart Tapley to ground into an inning ending double play. The Seminoles loaded the bases on three consecutive singles. The third hit in the inning kept the runners frozen as Oravetz laced a single into center off the diving glove of Weitzel at second.
The Gators took advantage of three Seminole errors in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead at 4-2. After Gast issued a four pitch walk to pinch hitter Jonathan Pigott to start the inning, things fell apart for Florida State with two fielding errors and a throwing error. Pigott advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Gast, who threw errantly over to first. Following a one out walk to den Dekker, Posey could not handle a grounder off the bat of McArthur allowing Pigott to score for a 3-2 lead.
Bo O’Dell was called on with one out in the seventh becoming the fifth Seminole pitcher of the game. On the very first pitch, O’Dell got Cooper to ground into what looked like an inning ending double play, but the ball went right through the legs of Cardullo at short as den Dekker scampered home giving the Gators a two-run advantage.
The Seminoles stranded a couple runners in the eighth after back-to-back hits by pinch hitter Mike Meschke and Cardullo. Bullock bounced back getting Danesh and pinch hitter Sean Gilmartin swinging on strikes to maintain the lead for the Gators.
In a holiday that has usually played in favor of Florida State in the past, the luck of the Irish was not with the Seminoles on Tuesday night. FSU falls to 27-9 all-time when playing on St. Patrick’s Day and 2-5 on the road.
Florida State returns to conference action on Friday welcoming the Clemson Tigers to Tallahassee for a three-game set. Friday and Sunday’s action will air live on FS Florida, while Saturday’s game can be seen over the internet on ACC Select. Fans can listen to all the action on 1270 the Team (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday). Live stats will also be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.