Feb. 27, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After going hitless in his last nine at bats, Florida
State second baseman Marshall McDougall knocked in two runs in the bottom of
the ninth to give the top-ranked Seminoles an 8-7 victory over Florida in
front of 2,001 fans at Dick Howser Stadium. FSU improved to 13-2 on the
year and UF fell to 6-7. The start of the game was delayed one hour and
began at 3:00 p.m. due to morning rains.
“This game shows what this ball club is capable of doing,” said head coach
Mike Martin. “We came back after being down five and then coming back again
in the bottom of the ninth. It was a fun baseball game and it was a big win
for us the way we came back to win it.”
With the Gators holding a 7-6 lead going into the bottom of the ninth,
Seminole center fielder Karl Jernigan got things going with a double to left
center. Designated hitter John-Ford Griffin then reached on an error by UF
third baseman Ryan Raburn, who had just moved from center field to third, to
put runners at first and third. McDougall promptly ripped the first pitch
he saw off the screen in right center to score Jernigan and Griffin for the
game-winning double, his eighth two-base hit of the season.
The Gators jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the top of the
second inning. Designated hitter Aaron Davidson singled to left field to
score right fielder Matt Goss with two outs. Kurt Keene then cleared the
bases with a double to right field. The fifth run of the inning came when
first baseman Jason Dill knocked in Keene with a single to left.
FSU’s lone run in the bottom of the third inning turned out to be a costly
one. Catcher Chris Hart reached first on a fielder’s choice with two outs,
colliding with UF catcher Tony Socarras on a play at the plate after a
Jernigan double to left. Hart scored, but fractured the tibia in his left
leg in the process. Coach Martin made an announcement following the game
after speaking with team doctors that Hart would not return this season.
In the bottom of the fourth, FSU picked up four runs to pull even with UF
at 5-5. McDougall led off the inning with a walk and first baseman Ryan
Barthelemy followed with his sixth home run of the season. Shortstop Brett
Groves reached on a bunt single and right fielder Chris Smith singled to
right to put runners on the corners. Third baseman Pichi Balet plated
Groves and Smith to tie the game with a double to right center.
The Seminoles took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the seventh.
Jernigan doubled to right center and Griffin walked with both advancing a
base on a wild pitch. Left fielder Mike Futrell recorded his 19th RBI of
the season when Jernigan scored on his sacrifice fly ball in foul territory.
UF tied it up with a run in the eighth when pinch hitter Matt Heath doubled
home Socarras. FSU saved another run from scoring when McDougall took a
relay from Smith and nailed Raburn at home with a strike to Blair McCaleb
(Hart’s replacement), who held on after another collision at the plate.
The Gators then took the lead with another run in the top of the ninth.
Davidson reached base on an error and stole second before scoring on a Keene
single. Jernigan struck out the final UF batter of the inning to earn his
first career win as a Seminole.
FSU starter Mike Ziegler (3-0) did not figure into the decision after
working 6.0 innings, allowing five runs and striking out eight. UF reliever
Joey Simon, who went 1.2 innings, took the loss after giving up the deciding
runs (one earned) in the bottom of the ninth.
The Seminoles return to action with a two-game home series with Charleston
Southern on Tuesday (2/29) and Wednesday (3/1) at Dick Howser Stadium. Both
games will start at 3:30 p.m.
UF 050 000 011 7 13 1 FSU 001 400 102 8 10 2