TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (19-13) fell to Florida (22-13) 3-1 in the third and final game of the Sunshine Showdown Tuesday at Dick Howser Stadium. A pinch-hit two-run double in the top of the ninth by Kirby McMullen proved the difference as the two teams were dead-locked at one apiece from the 5th inning on.
Florida State starting pitcher Conor Grady had the best outing of his career, setting career-highs for innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (9). He was the first Seminole starter to pitch seven innings this season and held Florida without a hit through 5.2 innings.
In two career starts, both against the Gators this season, Grady pitched 10.0 innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run and struck out 12 batters.
Florida State outhit the Gators, 8-5, with two each from Drew Mendoza, Nico Baldor and Mat Nelson. All eight hits were singles, while Florida hit two pivotal doubles in the ninth inning to get the win.
The Seminoles put runners on in each of the first four innings on five singles but could not push a run across. The best opportunity for FSU came in the third, when Nelson and Alec Sanchez singled to put runners on the corners, but a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning.
Florida took a lead in the fourth inning when Brady McConnell reached on a dropped fly ball, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead.
Florida starter David Luethje allowed five hits over his 4.0 innings and left after a leadoff walk to Nander De Sedas in the fifth inning. Justin Alintoff entered and gave up a single to Nelson, his second of the game, and both runners advanced on stolen bases. With one out, Sanchez grounded out to first base to score De Sedas and tie the game at 1-1.
Jonah Scolaro gave up a single and a walk in the eighth when Santino Miozzi attempted to bunt both runners up a base. Nelson fielded the two-strike bunt and gunned the lead runner down at third base. Chase Haney (2-2) entered to face the top of the Gators lineup, inducing a pair of groundouts to keep Florida from scoring.
Kendrick Calilao doubled with one out in the ninth inning, the final batter for Haney. Clayton Kwiatkowski struck out Austin Langworthy for the second out, intentionally walked Wil Dalton before Kirby McMullen hit a two-run double down the right field line for a 3-1 Gators lead.
Ben Specht (1-0) retired the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Florida State hosts No. 16 Clemson for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 12. Friday and Saturday’s games will stream live on ACC Network Extra, while Sunday’s game will be on ESPN2.
Friday, April 12 – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 14 – 1:00 p.m.
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).