March 30, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (20-4) defeated No. 8 Florida (18-6) 7-2 Tuesday evening in front of a sell out crowd of 9,276 at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville. The Seminoles collected their sixth win in a row and their third straight over the Gators in Jacksonville. FSU moved to 2-1 against Florida this year with the final game of the regular season series coming on Tuesday, April 13 in Tallahassee.
In his second start against the Gators this year, Parker was once again masterful working 4.2 innings allowing just two runs, none earned, on three hits as he walked two and struck out four. He recorded the first two outs in the fifth before giving way to Busch, who worked the final 4.1 innings to lead the Seminoles to the victory.
Busch kept the Gators off the scoreboard in allowing just three hits while striking out a season-high six. The sophomore southpaw finished the game retiring the final seven batters that faced to move his record to 4-0 on the year.
“Obviously, a lot of things happened to go our way tonight,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I can’t say enough about the job Geoff Parker and Brian Busch did. It was just absolutely beautiful pitching. When you play in an atmosphere and in a game like this you better get good pitching and both of those guys were very impressive. It was fun to watch them work.”
“My fastball and slider were locating pretty good tonight,” said Busch. “My changeup wasn’t as good as it has been, but I guess I got them a little bit out front and kept them off base.
“Geoff threw 4.2 and he was just shutting them down all night,” added Busch on Parker’s performance on Tuesday night. “I wanted to come in and pick up where he left off.”
“This win means everything,” said Tyler Holt. “That’s a good ball club over there; we have them again in Tallahassee. A win against the Gators is good no matter what atmosphere, what time and place, what sport even. They are our rivals and they are going to bring their best and we are going to bring ours. This was a good win for our ball club.”
Tapley reached base on four of his five plate appearances on Tuesday night capping the evening with his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth. Ramsey went 2-for-5 with a single and a double and two runs scored. Travis picked up his first collegiate RBI on a run scoring single in the second. His second came on a sac-fly in the seventh.
Sherman Johnson extended his hit streak to seven with a single up the middle in the second.
With the win on Tuesday night, Martin moved to within one victory of reaching 1,600 for his career.
“It was a good win for us,” added Martin. “It is just a joy and a pleasure to part of an atmosphere like this. This is great for the state of Florida; a lot of people saw it on television, this is good stuff.”
For the third time in as many meetings this year, the Noles were first to score taking advantage of a Gator error in the top of the second. Florida right fielder Kamm Washington over ran a fly ball off the bat of Tapley allowing the Seminole designated hitter to reach base safely. Tapley moved to second on a base hit back up the middle by Johnson and scored a batter later on an RBI single through the right side off the bat of Travis. With the runners at the corners and one out, UF starter Jeff Barfield was able to get out of the jam recording back-to-back strikeouts to Jayce Boyd and Rafael Lopez to end the inning.
“It was great,” said Travis on registering his first two RBI of his career on Tuesday night. “I just want to do what I can to help this team win.”
The Gators answered the call in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run shot off the bat of Tyler Thompson. A Seminole fielding error extended the inning for the Gators and Thompson made them pay taking a 1-0 pitch from Parker out of the park over the short wall in right for his first home run of the season and a 2-1 Florida lead.
Florida State came right back to tie the game at 2-2 with a run in the third. Holt led off the inning with a single through the left side off Gator reliever Justin Poovey. He took second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single to center by Stephen Cardullo. After a base hit by Ramsey, the Gators went the bullpen for the second time on Tuesday bringing on Hudson Randall (2-2). The freshman right hander came on and struck out Tapley and then issued an intentional walk to Johnson loading the bases with two outs for Travis. The Gators had the defense aligned perfectly as Travis drilled a line drive right to Daniel Pigott in left for the third out of the inning.
Florida put runners at first and third with only one out in the fourth but came up empty handed as Parker registered a fly out and a groundout to keep the game knotted at two. The junior right hander got Pigott to fly out to short right as a strong throw from Ramsey kept Austin Maddox at third. Then on the very next pitch, Parker played his position beautifully sprinting off the mound to field a groundball off the bat of Thompson and touched the bag at first for the third out.
The third Gator error of the game led to another Seminole run as FSU took a 3-2 lead with a run in the fifth. With two outs and Tapley on at second after stinging a double to the gap in right center, Johnson hit a groundball to first that Preston Tucker could not field cleanly resulting in Tapley scoring from second.
Parker tried to work around a lead off walk to Florida catch Mike Zunino to start the bottom of the fifth but was relieved by Busch with two outs, Zunino on at second and left handed hitting Tucker due up. Busch kept the lead in tact as he got the Gator power hitter to groundout to short.
A single by Maddox to start the bottom of the sixth went to no avail as Busch set down the next three Gator hitters including back-to-back strikeouts to Washington and Pigott to close out the inning.
The Seminoles scored two runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 5-2 courtesy of another Florida fielding error. Mike McGee started the inning reaching on a fielding error at third and moved to second as Nick Maronde unleashed on a wild pitch. McGee would score a batter later as Ramsey registered an RBI double down the right field line for his second hit of the ball game. Florida once again went to the pen and called on Kevin Chapman. Tapley battled to draw a walk while during his at-bat Ramsey moved to third on a passed ball. Two batters later Travis drove in his second run of the game and fifth Seminole run sending a sac-fly to left to score Ramsey.
“Ramsey’s double was huge,” said Martin. “When we needed a runner moved, he not only moved him but he ends up on second base and ends up scoring.”
Florida put runners at the corners with two outs in the seventh on base hits by Zunino and Adams but the Gators came up empty handed as Busch got Tucker to fly out to Holt in center.
Tapley gave the Garnet and Gold some breathing room in the ninth connecting on a two-run shot off Chapman for the winning margin. Ramsey began the ninth reaching on a throwing error by Chapman off a bunt. Tapley then followed with his fifth home run of the season on a 2-1 offering Chapman.
“Tapley’s home run was certainly big and don’t forget Ramsey’s bunt; it was obviously an error on the play, but it was still heads up baseball on his part to put the ball down,” added Martin.
The Gators finished the game with a season-high five errors on Tuesday night.
The Seminoles return to the diamond this weekend as FSU hosts Virginia Tech in a three-game conference series on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Friday and Saturday’s first pitch are scheduled for 6:00 p.m., while Sunday’s series finale is set for 1:00 p.m. and will air live on FS Florida. Fans can also listen in locally on 1270 the Team and 94.3 FM (Friday), 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and on the web at Seminoles.com.