The Seminoles struggled through a comedy of errors on Tuesday night as they were beaten 14-8 by rival Florida. Florida State led off the scoring with two runs in the top of the first. Walls led off the game with a single and Sansone followed that up with a double. Stewart would groundout to second scoring the first run and Neiporte would single over the third baseman to bring in the second.
Florida bounced back quickly as Alec Byrd gave up five runs on four hits in the first and the game degenerated from there. Florida added another run in the second inning and Bryant Holtmann came in to limit the damage. Carlton went just 1.1 innings while giving up six earned runs.
Florida State managed to battle back with three runs in the third. Marconcini had a 2-RBI double to left and Busby followed it up with a single to bring in Neiporte and close the lead to 6-5 Florida.
The Gators added a run in the fourth on a double steal that saw Florida center fielder Richie Martin steal home. Josh Tobias distracted Holtmann while Martin scampered home. Holtmann realized too late and Martin reached home before the ball got to De La Calle.
Florida State tied the game at seven with a two run fifth inning. Neiporte scored on a passed ball and then Florida State executed their own double steal with Busby stealing home. DeLuzio would strike out while Delph attempted to steal second. He would get to the bag a split second before the throw while Busby reached home easily.
Head coach Mike Martin was pleased with his teams fight.
“The thing that encourages me the most was the way we continued to scrap when we fell behind,” Martin said.
Florida would again answer quickly with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Drew Carlton came in to pitch for Holtmann and got rocked. After an initial out Carlton gave up three straight hits to go with a Dylan Busby error to push the lead to 9-7. Dylan Silva came in and held Florida to just one more run in the inning on a sac fly.
Florida would continue to roll in the sixth inning with an RBI single before blowing the game wide open in the seventh. Alex Deise came in to relieve Silva who immediately struggled with control. JJ Schwartz took advantage with a mammoth 3-run homer to left center pushing the lead to 14-7.
Florida State would get a run in the top of the eighth after a Walls triple to right center and a Sansone sac fly. Florida State held Florida to their first 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, but couldn’t mount anything in the ninth.
Coach Martin was very candid about his teams performance.
“In all honesty just to break this down we got our butts beat,” Martin said. “There’s no ifs, ands, or buts. We got beat.”
Florida State had five errors on the day, three of which came from freshman third baseman Dylan Busby. He was replaced halfway through the game by Hank Truluck. Coach Martin talked to him about the errors when he came into the dugout.
“I just told him that he was putting too much pressure on himself,” Martin said. “He’s a good fielder and I just wanted to let him know that it happens to all of us. You just gotta be able to overcome it and be ready to go the next time you’re out there.”
Florida State falls to 17-5 on the season and have now dropped five straight to the Gators. The Seminoles will travel to face No. 14 Virginia this weekend. The Friday starter for the Seminoles is still up in the air with Mike Compton’s status still unknown.