March 30, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rivalry week gets underway on Tuesday, March 31 as 23rd-ranked Florida State (16-8) squares off against 21st-ranked Florida (18-8) at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville, Fla. at 7:00 p.m. This marks the second of three meetings between these intra-state rivals as the Gators defeated the Seminoles 5-4 back on March 17 in Gainesville.
Tuesday’s game marks the 211th meeting between these two schools as the Seminoles lead the all-time series 115-94-1, while the Gators hold a 7-3 advantage in games played on a neutral surface. Florida holds a slight edge in the series as of late winning nine of the last 16 games.
Back on March 17, FSU fell to Florida 5-4 in Gainesville. The Seminoles 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 as the game featured three ties and three lead changes. Tyler Holt and Rafael Lopez each finished the game with a team-high three hits.
Florida State vs. Florida Pitching Match-up
Tuesday, March 31, – 7:00 p.m.
Florida State – RHP, Geoff Parker (2-1) vs. Florida – LHP, Stephen Locke (0-0)
SCOUTING THE GATORS
Since defeating Florida State 5-4 back on St. Patrick’s Day, the Gators have been on a bit of a run winning eight of their last nine games which include back-to-back weekend series sweeps of Tennessee and Arkansas in SEC play. The Gators have not played a neutral site game this year and are 2-4 away from home this season. UF’s last road game was a 3-0 loss at North Florida. Sophomore Josh Adams leads the Gator offensive attack hitting .359 with 33 hits and 23 runs scored in 23 starts. Preseason All-American Matt den Dekker has posted a .346 average with 28 hits in 81 at-bats, while Avery Barnes has registered a team-high 21 RBI. The Gators will throw senior left hander Stephen Locke against the Seminoles on Tuesday. Locke is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA as he made his first appearance on the mound last week. He has thrown just two innings allowing one run on one hit. As a team, the Gators are hitting .291, while posting a team ERA of 3.72.
RIVER CITY SHOW DOWN
Tuesday’s meeting in Jacksonville marks the third straight season these two intra-state rivals will face off at the Baseball Grounds. In 2007, Florida powered past FSU 16-7 recording four home runs including two, three-run homers by first baseman Matt LaPorta and a grand slam by designated hitter Austin Pride. The Gators outscored the Seminoles 12-5 in the first three innings. In 2008, Florida State evened the series in Jacksonville with a 10-2 victory over Florida. The Seminoles used the short game and long ball combination to perfection registering three sacrifice flies and two home runs including a solo shot by Stuart Tapley and two-run blast off the bat of Buster Posey in the win.
THE SEMINOLES IN NON-CONFERENCE ACTION
With 11 games remaining vs. non-conference foes, Florida State has posted a record of 10-4 against teams outside the ACC. Following Tuesday’s game against Florida in Jacksonville, the Seminoles will have one more game against the Southeastern Conference that coming against the Gators in Tallahassee. FSU has posted an all-time record of 282-194-1 (.5942 against current teams from the SEC. Since 2005, the Seminoles are 21-15 against SEC foes having played Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee. The Garnet and Gold has a winning record all-time against every member of the SEC except Arkansas (0-3).
CARDULLO PICKS UP ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Stephen Cardullo was named ACC Player of the Week after leading the Seminoles to a perfect 5-0 week including a three-game sweep at Maryland for the Seminoles first conference sweep of the season. He hit .500 (11-for-22) for the week recording multiple hits in the final four games, while recording at least one run and an RBI in all five games against Florida Gulf Coast and Maryland. Cardullo finished the Maryland series batting .571 with eight hits in 14 at-bats. He recorded three home runs, drove in eight and scored seven times en route to slugging a team-high 1.214. The junior shortstop ended the series against Maryland going 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs, while posting career-highs in RBI (6) and runs scored (4) in the series finale against the Terps. Sunday’s game marked the first multi-home run game of his career and in the process Cardullo slugged his first career grand slam in the top of the seventh. He gave the Seminoles an early lead in game three blasting a two-run shot in the top of the first.
STRONG ARM OUT OF THE BULLPEN
After being the winning pitcher on opening day, Geoff Parker has started finding even more success on the mound coming out of the bullpen. In his five relief appearances, Parker has compiled a 1-0 record and one save in 16.1 innings of work. He’s allowed only six hits, five runs with four of them being earned, five walks, 17 strikeouts, and a 2.20 ERA during that span. As impressive as that is, Parker has done an excellent job of closing out the inning when he comes into the game. So far in 2009, he has inherited nine runners and has only allowed one to cross the plate.
For Complete Notes please see the above PDF