Sixth-ranked Florida State (14-2) saw its 10-game win streak come to an end Tuesday night, as the Seminoles fell to top-ranked Florida (16-1) 9-2 in front of a record crowd of 6,005 inside McKethan Stadium.
With the victory, the Gators pushed their win streak to a school record 14 in a row, while the loss marked FSU's fifth straight in Gainesville.
After the Seminoles grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third, the Gators came right back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs to take the lead for good. Florida added single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings and three more in the eighth to account for the winning margin.
"It was just a great atmosphere, the best night for baseball we have had all year, and we got whipped, plain and simple," said coach Mike Martin. "It was a very good job of baseball on Florida's part. We didn't do anything wrong. We just got beat. It was one of those situations they deserved to win. They took advantage of every mistake that we made."
Luke Weaver made his third start of the year and worked two-plus innings in earning the no decision. The DeLand native allowed two runs on one hit, as he walked three and struck out one.
Scott Sitz (1-1) suffered the loss, as he allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of work. The junior right hander gave up the three-run home run to Preston Tucker in the third which gave the Gators the lead for good.
Five Seminoles recorded one hit apiece, as five Gator pitchers did not allow an extra base hit on Tuesday. Sherman Johnson, Devon Travis, James Ramsey, Jayce Boyd and Stephen McGee all registered a single in the loss.
"It was just one of those days," said Johnson. "We had a couple of good at-bats. We lined out a couple times, and it just happens. They beat us in all facets of the game tonight. Those guys are good. They are No. 1 for a reason, and they proved that tonight."
Johnson reached base on two of his four plate appearances against the Gators, as the senior from Tampa has now reached base in all 16 games this year.
Weaver worked out of a jam in the bottom of the first, as the Gators put two aboard on a leadoff single by Nolan Fontana and a hit by pitch to Tucker. The freshman right hander then retired the next two batters, getting Mike Zunino to fly out to left center and Brian Johnson to ground out to third to end the inning.
Boyd opened the top of the second with a single to right center, but Bobby Poyner struck out the side to keep the game scoreless.
Florida State was the first to strike, taking advantage of a Gator throwing error in the third that led to a pair of runs, giving FSU a 2-0 lead. With McGee and Johnson on base courtesy of a single and a walk, respectively, Travis came to the plate and laid down a bunt single to third. The throw from third baseman Josh Tobias was high and wide of the bag at first, bringing home McGee and Johnson for the first two runs of the game.
The lead for the Seminoles was short-lived, as the Gators came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 advantage. Weaver issued back-to-back walks to open the third that led to an FSU pitching change, as Martin brought on Sitz. The junior right hander got Daniel Pigott looking on strikes but then gave up a three-run shot to Tucker for his sixth home run of the season. Florida looked to add more, as Zunino drew a walk and Johnson reached on a fielding error at third, but Sitz registered a flyout and a strikeout to keep the deficit at one.
Florida added a run in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Fontana to increase its lead to 4-2. Tobias, who scored the run in the fourth, led off the inning with a double down the left field line.
The Gators added a run in the sixth and seventh off Kyle Bird to take a 6-2 lead. Fontana took a 2-2 offering from the freshman southpaw out of the park to right for his fourth home run of the year. Tucker led off the seventh with a triple down the line in right and scored a batter later when Zunino hit a sac fly to center.
The Seminoles missed a golden opportunity to cut into the Gator lead in the eighth leaving two on, as Austin Maddox came on in relief of Daniel Gibson to get the third out. Boyd battled Maddox, fouling off several pitches, before ripping a line drive right to Casey Turgeon at second for the final out of the inning. Johnson's single with one out in the eighth was the first base hit for the Seminoles since the third inning. The Gator pitching staff had retired 12 straight Florida State hitters before the single by Johnson. Ramsey continued the inning with a single to left.
Bird worked a career-high three innings, allowing two runs on four hits, as he walked one and struck out two.
Greg Larson picked up the win as he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings to move to 3-0 on the year. Maddox worked the final 1 1/3 innings to earn his sixth save.
Florida State returns home to face Virginia for a three-game series beginning Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
FSU's win streak comes to an end
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