February 25, 2000 - by

Visiting Gators Seek Revenge Against Top-Ranked Seminoles

Feb. 25, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, the No. 1 team in the country in all three polls,
improved to 11-2 with a pair of victories over Appalachian St. on Tuesday
and Wednesday. Starters Blair Varnes and John Bentley picked up their
first wins of the season against the Mountaineers.

Last weekend, FSU cruised to wins of 15-6 and 17-8 in Gainesville to take
the two-game series at then-No. 19 Florida for the first time since 1993 –
which was also the last year FSU swept UF. The Tribe scored 15 runs in two
innings in the first game and then scored in each of the first seven
innings in game two. The 32 Seminole runs were the most allowed by a Gator
team in back-to-back games since 1947. Center fielder Karl Jernigan played
well against the Gators with a pair of home runs among his 5 hits while
shortstop Brett Groves and first baseman Ryan Barthelemy each had grand
slams in the first game at UF.

The biggest surprise of the 2000 season has been FSU’s production
offensively. Seven Seminoles are hitting better than .320 and eight
players have homered for FSU, including seven who have two or more home
runs. Barthelemy leads the team in home runs (5) and RBI (18),
All-American second baseman Marshall McDougall is tops in runs scored (19)
and designated hitter John-Ford Griffin boasts a team-high batting average
of .436

Head coach Mike Martin will again start junior Jon McDonald on Saturday
and RHP Mike Ziegler on Sunday. McDonald (3-0), a preseason first team
Collegiate Baseball All-American went 5.2 innings in last week’s win and
gave up six earned runs. Ziegler (3-0) worked 5.0 innings in the Sunday
victory, allowing three earned runs.


Florida (6-5)
The Gators fell out of the Top 25 following the two losses to FSU in
Gainesville, but got back on track Tuesday with a 10-3 victory over Florida
A&M. Former Seminole pitcher Mike Smalley picked up the win over the
Rattlers. 1BOF Kurt Keene is hitting .523 with three home runs to lead UF
at the plate.


The Series
FSU leads the all-time series 99-81, dating back to 1956. Last year in
Tallahassee, the Tribe split with UF. The Gators won the first game 6-5,
but FSU bounced back to win the second game 12-3. Both teams have won one
apiece at Dick Howser since 1996, when Florida won both games. Mike Martin
is 45-36 all-time vs. Florida.


Radio and TV
Sunshine Network will televise Saturday’s game with Tom Block
(play-by-play) and Leah Secondo (color) providing the commentary. Both
games will be carried live on Sports Radio 1270 (WNLS-AM). Lee Bowen and
Jim Crosby begin coverage 15 minutes prior to game time. Broadcasts are
also available via the internet at www.wnls.com.


Probable Starters

PosNoPlayerClB/T
C#10Chris HartSo.R/R.077, 1 Run, 1 RBI
or#32Blair McCalebSo.R/R.323, 6 Runs, 4 RBI
1B#27Ryan BarthelemyS0.L/R.277, 5 HR, 18 RBI
2B#31Marshall McDougallSr.R/R.339, 2 HR, 17 Runs
SS#1Brett GrovesJr.R/R.385, 2 HR, 13 RBI
3B#18Pichi BaletJr.R/R.263, 1 HR, 8 RBI
or#26Scott BoydJr.R/R.429, 2 2B, 6 RBI
OF#8Mike FutrellSo.R/R.370, 3 HR, 17 RBI
OF#9Karl JerniganJr.R/R.295, 4 HR, 11 RBI
OF#15Chris SmithSo.L/L.360, 3 HR, 11 RBI
OF/DH#39John-Ford GriffinSo.L/L.436, 2 HR, 14 RBI
RHP#41Jon McDonaldJr.R/R3-0, 5.56 ERA, 18K
RHP#35Mike ZieglerJr.R/R3-0, 3.00 ERA, 28K

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