GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In front of 5,385 fans at McKethan Stadium, No. 6 Florida State fell on the road to No. 7 Florida 20-7.
The Noles (13-2) got off to a quick start, as Mike Salvatore doubled to right field to leadoff the game, advancing to third on a bobbled ball in the outfield. An RBI double to left field by Drew Mendoza plated Salvatore to give FSU the early 1-0 lead.
Nander De Sedas added to the Seminoles lead in the third inning with a towering blast over the left field bleachers, giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage. The talented freshman took a 2-2 pitch from Jordan Butler out of the park for his third career home run as a Seminole.
On the hill, Conor Grady turned in a solid effort in his first career start. The sophomore tossed a career-high three innings as he scattered just three hits and two walks without giving up a run, striking out three on 56 pitches.
In the fifth inning, Salvatore, Alec Sanchez, and Elijah Cabell all worked walks, before J.C. Flowers extended the lead to 6-0 with an opposite field grand slam off the scoreboard in right-center field. For Flowers, it was the junior’s third home run of 2019, surpassing his total (2) from his first two seasons on campus.
The tide turned in the bottom of the inning as Florida responded with a five-run fifth inning to cut the lead to 6-5. Errors, walks and wild pitches littered the frame as the Gators regained some momentum.
The Seminoles responded in the sixth inning as Salvatore roped an RBI single through the left side, scoring Matheu Nelson from second to give FSU a two-run advantage at 7-5.
In the bottom of inning, the Gators broke the game open.
A few more hit-by-pitches, a ball slipping underneath the diving glove of Flowers in center, and errant throws allowed the home team to take full advantage with eight runs in the frame. By the end of the sixth inning, UF led 13-7 and would not look back.
The Gators tacked on seven more runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by a grand slam from Kendrick Calilao off Austin Pollock and a two-run blast by Blake Reese off Jack Anderson.
The Seminoles next travel to Raleigh on Friday for their first road ACC series of the season against No. 12 NC State. All three games will stream on the ACC Network Extra.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).