UF took a short-lived 1-0 lead in their half of the first on a sacrifice fly to deep right by C.J. Smith off Seminole starter Hunter Jones.
The Seminoles answered resoundingly in the bottom of the frame, plating five runs on homers by Eddy Martinez-Esteve and Bryan Zech before the Gators managed an out. Danny Wardell's single to left chased UF starter Adam Sanabria after he retired just one batter.
Jones rebounded from back-to-back shaky starts and a demotion to the bullpen, posting a strong outing to improve his record to 3-2. Jones tossed seven innings and gave up four runs – three of them earned – and struck out four.
"There's no question that this was one of his better outings," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "He was outstanding tonight. We have got to have Hunter Jones for us to do well the rest of the season."
Jones still did have problems leaving his pitches up. The sophomore gave up homers to Smith and Adam Davis and many of his outs were via the fly, not a signature of a strong Jones outing.
More importantly, though, the results were typical of a good start. The victory was his first since March 19 against Maryland. Give the assist to the Seminole offense.
"You never dream of getting five runs in each of the first two innings," Martin said. "That's good for him since earlier in the season he didn't necessarily get this kind of support from the offense."
The victory even the season series with the Gators at one apiece. The teams meet once more this season; the series finale is May 12 in Gainesville.
The rotation for the weekend will be the same. Eddie Cannon will start Friday followed by Mark Sauls on Saturday and Rhett James in Sunday's series finale.
Tallahassee native Gavin Dickey's homecoming was forgettable. The backup QB and centerfielder entered the game as a sub and struck out looking in the seventh against Brian Schultz. Dickey struck out swinging against Tyler Chambliss in the ninth. To top it off, the jeer from the crowd was, "Where's Chris Leak."
Alex Boston, a defensive end on the football team, made his season debut. Boston grounded out to short in the eighth, nearly beating out Justin Tordi's throw.