TAMPA, Fla. – A seven-run first inning proved to be the difference Tuesday night as No. 3 Florida State (7-0) defeated No. 5 Florida (5-1) 10-5 in the second game of the Florida Four Tournament on Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. The game was the first of four meetings between these intra-state rivals.
With the 10 runs and 13 hits, the Seminoles have posted double-digits hits and runs in each of their first seven games to start the 2010 campaign. Dating back to last season, Florida State has registered double-digit hits in 12 consecutive games.
Geoff Parker (1-0) was impressive in his second start of the season working 5.1 innings allowing just one run on six hits. The sophomore right hander did not issue a walk while striking out three. It marked the third time in 16 career starts that Parker did not give up a free pass, while it marked his longest outing since throwing 6.0 innings in earning the victory over Virginia Tech back on May 2, 2009.
The win was the first of the season for Parker and the first over the Gators in four all-time appearances. The Dade City, Fla., native has now thrown 14.0 career innings against UF allowing just four earned runs and recording 12 strikeouts.
The Seminoles wasted very little time cracking the scoreboard on Tuesday evening plating seven runs in the bottom of the first. The first five batters for the Garnet and Gold reached on three singles and two hit by pitches chasing Florida starter Anthony DeSclafani (0-1). Tyler Holt led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to third on a base hit to right off the bat of James Ramsey. After Stephen Cardullo was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Mike McGee brought home the first run of the game as DeSclafani plunked McGee on the top of the helmet. Stuart Tapley laced a two-run single back up the middle to give the Seminoles a 3-0 advantage ending the evening for DeSclafani.
Sherman Johnson greeted Gator reliever Hudson Randall with a single to left center to load the bases once again for the Seminoles. Following a groundball double play, Rafael Lopez hammered a double to the gap in right center scoring Tapley for a 5-0 lead. Freshman Jayce Boyd then delivered a towering shot out to left on a 1-0 count for his first collegiate home run and a 7-0 Seminole advantage.
The Gators got on the scoreboard in the third as Mike Zunino took a 1-2 offering from Parker over the wall in dead centerfield for his first career home run.
The Seminoles answered right back with a run in the bottom of the inning as Lopez successfully converted a safety squeeze down the first base line to score Justin Gonzalez from third. Gonzalez led off the third with a triple to gap in left center and scored a batter later on Lopez' sacrifice bunt.
Florida threatened in the top of the fifth as the first two batters reached on a pair of infield singles by Bryson Smith and Nolan Fontana. But Parker erased any thoughts of a Gator comeback getting Kamm Washington to ground back to the pitcher, an infield pop up off the bat of Zunino and a groundout to first by Matt den Dekker to end the inning.
A one out double off the bat of UF designated hitter Austin Maddox in the top of the sixth brought the evening to a close for Parker. Josh Adams led off the inning with a single through the left side and after getting behind in the count to Preston Tucker at three balls and one strike, Parker got Tucker swinging on strikes for the first out of the inning.
With runners on second and third, Martin went to the bullpen and called on sophomore left hander Brian Busch. Busch registered back-to-back strikeouts to preserve the Seminoles' seven-run lead.
Busch finished the game working 2.2 scoreless innings as he struck out a season-high four batters.
After picking up base hits in his first two at-bats on Tuesday, Tapley's streak of reaching base in consecutive at-bats came to an end at 12 following a fly out to right in the fourth. The mark fell one short of the school record set by Paul Sorrento in 1985.
Florida State added a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Cardullo and McGee.
Florida made things interesting in the ninth scoring four times off junior college transfer Andrew Durden. After giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning, Durden registered consecutive strikeouts but could not close the door on the Gators as UF put together four straight RBI singles. After hitting Maddox to load the bases, Martin brought on Daniel Bennett to close the door and preserve the win for the Seminoles. Bennett got Daniel Pigott to fly out to Boyd in foul territory to register his first save of the season. All four runs for Florida came on two outs.
The Seminoles return to the diamond on Wednesday, March 3 at 7:05 p.m., as Florida State takes on the defending national champion Philadelphia Phillies in an exhibition game at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Fla. Tickets are still available as fans can log on to Seminoles.com to purchase their tickets for the game.
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