GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Andrew Karp pitched seven strong innings, but No. 1 Florida State dropped a close 1-0 decision to Florida on Tuesday night.
In front of 5,800 fans at McKethan Stadium, Karp was brilliant as he gave up just one run in his seven innings of work. The redshirt sophomore from Winter Park, Fla. walked none and struck out a career-high 11 batters.
“We got beat by a team that played very well and they beat a good team that played very well,” head coach Mike Martin said after the game.
Karp’s earned run average lowered to 2.10 on the season and the right-handed hurler has now struck out 34 batters in 2017 (second on the team behind Tyler Holton) to just three walks.
“Andrew’s stock has gone off the chart, what a beautifully pitched baseball game,” Martin said on Karp. “He was in total check of his emotions, he was really, really impressive.”
“I felt good with everything. Fastball command, the slider and changeup were working,” Karp said. “It’s one of those games where everything is working and it just clicks.”
Karp’s fourth straight quality appearance has given his team confidence every time he takes the mound. For Karp, he’s just happy to be out there again, playing the game he loves.
“It’s crazy to think two and a half years ago I was right down the street at Shands (Hospital) for surgery on my broken leg,” Karp said. “Every time I go out there I just feel extremely thankful and blessed that I even get to play the game. It’s more just having fun for me and giving my team a chance to win.”
While the Seminoles’ offense aimed to ignite, Karp’s control of the Florida attack kept FSU in the game throughout the evening. The Gators rarely threatened the Noles’ throughout the night, thanks to Karp’s steadiness on the mound and some great defensive plays by the defense.
On the very first play of the game, UF’s Blake Reese sent a ball into foul territory that Rhett Aplin laid out for a diving catch. It was Aplin’s first time playing left field this season. In the third inning, Tyler Daughtry and Matt Henderson turned a clean 5-4-3 double play to stall the UF threat.
FSU had opportunities during the game, most notably in the fifth inning when Nick Derr singled and J.C. Flowers laid down a perfect bunt for a hit, placing runners at first and second. However, with two outs Matt Henderson flew out to center field to end the Seminole threat.
The Noles had another threat going in the sixth after Taylor Walls singled to center field to start the inning and worked his way to third base in the frame. But the Gators got Cal Raleigh to ground out to end the last real Seminole chance.
Florida scratched the lone run of the game in the seventh inning as Mark Kolozsvary’s, check-swing, bloop single with two outs fell in left field to bring home Jonathan India from second base.
The loss moves FSU to 13-4 on the year and Florida State will travel to Fort Myers for a match with No. 22 Florida Gulf Coast at JetBlue Park on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and Seminole fans can tune into 106.1 FM to catch the action.
– The last time Florida State was shutout 1-0 in a game was against Virginia on May 13, 1994.
– Florida State committed zero errors against Florida, the fifth time this season the Noles have played an error-free game.
– Karp’s 11 strikeouts are tied for the second-most on the team this season. Tyler Holton threw 13 strikeouts against Oakland and 11 against Samford. Last season, no Seminole had a double-digit strikeout game.
– J.C. Flowers’ bunt single in the fifth inning was his second of the season and the Seminoles’ ninth bunt single as a team in 2017.