Gators Pound Noles

<br>Leave to it a rival to produce a little misery.<br> <br>Fueled by a dominating performance from freshman righthander Stephen Locke, battle-tested Florida smacked the home standing Florida State 9-2 Wednesday night, giving the Seminoles a harsh setback in their first contest against ranked competition.<br>


"I love playing rivalries for so many reasons," said UF coach Pat McMahon," whose team won in Tallahassee for the first time in four years. "But bottom line - we're a team that's trying to get better and we did that in a lot of ways tonight."

The Gators (20-7) coasted after an early offensive outburst that was punctuated in the fifth by Justin Tordi's monstrous three-run blast over the 50-foot high scoreboard beyond the left field fence.

Staked to a 9-0 lead, Locke (4-0) gave up one earned run in 5 2/3 innings pitched to pick up the victory in his fourth start of the season.

"It always takes the edge off to get a big lead," Locke said. "It takes a lot of pressure off when you can throw the ball over the plate and just let your defense work."

The Gators opened the scoring with a four-spot in the top of the second.

After Stephen Barton's single to left drove home the game's first two runs, UF loaded the bases with a pair of singles and an error by FSU shortstop Ryne Jernigan. An RBI single by Tallahassee native Gavin Dickey and a sac fly from Adam Davis followed, scoring unearned runs off of losing pitcer Hunter Jones (4-1).

UF also got two in the sixth, but Tordi's moonshot was the highlight. The senior's homer transformed a 2-0 offering from Jones into what he called "the farthest ball I've hit in my life".

"Broke our backs," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "That's when they started pounding us."

The Seminoles outhit UF 13-12 but were never able to find their swings with runners on base. They managed just two hits with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners in the game.

The contest provided an excellent barometer for both clubs heading into the final two months of the regular season. While FSU (27-6) has built an impressive early-season record against competition that is was a combined 139-174 heading into Wednesday, Florida has won three-game series' from top-10 powers Miami and South Carolina.

UF and FSU meet again on April 19 in Tallahassee and May 3 in Gainesville.

"I love playing rivalries for so many reasons," said UF coach Pat McMahon," whose team won in Tallahassee for the first time in four years. "But bottom line - we're a team that's trying to get better and we did that in a lot of ways tonight."

The Gators (20-7) coasted after an early offensive outburst that was punctuated in the fifth by Justin Tordi's monstrous three-run blast over the 50-foot high scoreboard beyond the left field fence.

Staked to a 9-0 lead, Locke (4-0) gave up one earned run in 5 2/3 innings pitched to pick up the victory in his fourth start of the season.

"It always takes the edge off to get a big lead," Locke said. "It takes a lot of pressure off when you can throw the ball over the plate and just let your defense work."

The Gators opened the scoring with a four-spot in the top of the second.

After Stephen Barton's single to left drove home the game's first two runs, UF loaded the bases with a pair of singles and an error by FSU shortstop Ryne Jernigan. An RBI single by Tallahassee native Gavin Dickey and a sac fly from Adam Davis followed, scoring unearned runs off of losing pitcer Hunter Jones (4-1).

UF also got two in the sixth, but Tordi's moonshot was the highlight. The senior's homer trransformed a 2-0 offering from Jones into what he called "the farthest ball I've hit in my life".

"Broke our backs," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "That's when they started pounding us."

The Seminoles outhit UF 13-12 but were never able to find their swings with runners on base. They managed just two hits with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners in the game.

The contest provided an excellent barometer for both clubs heading into the final two months of the regular season. While FSU (27-6) has built an impressive early-season record against competition that is was a combined 139-174 heading into Wednesday, Florida has won three-game series' from top-10 powers Miami and South Carolina.

UF and FSU meet again on April 19 in Tallahassee and May 3 in Gainesville.
                 

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