Gators Go for the Split Against FSU

The best No. 4 Florida can hope for on Tuesday is a series tie, but after the struggles against No. 9 Florida State this season, it's something the Gators would take without hesitation. Florida has lost six of the last eight games to the Seminoles, but a win in Tallahassee Tuesday would even the series at two games each.

It wasn't the ideal scenario before the season started, but a tied season series is now the best Florida can do.

The Gators will start junior left-hander Alex Panteliodis (2-0, 4.03) for the second time against the Seminoles this season. In his first start, Panteliodis lasted only 2.1 innings, giving up five hits, one walk and one hit batter on the way to allowing three runs. In 22.1 innings on the season, Panteliodis has allowed 23 hits and 10 runs, with 17 strikeouts and three walks.

It hasn't been the season the junior imagined after an 11-win 2010 campaign, but a successful performance at Dick Howser Stadium on Tuesday would go a long way to forgetting the early frustrations.

The Seminoles will counter with a familiar face. Right-hander Hunter Scantling (1-0, 1.33) will make his third consecutive start against the Gators. The first start came in Gainesville where he lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up five hits and two runs while recording four strikeouts. Two weeks ago in Jacksonville, Scantling went three innings, allowing two hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out three.

Scantling had success against the Florida hitters by keeping them off-balance with his off-speed stuff. The entire Seminoles pitching staff has thrown a heavy dosage of breaking balls to the Florida hitters in all three games of the series, so that will be a key point to watch in Tuesday's matchup.

Florida State comes into the matchup after losing two-of-three games in their home weekend series against North Carolina. The Seminoles won the Friday night matchup and then dropped the final two games of the weekend.

The Gators were the exact opposite. Florida lost the series opener at Mississippi State before winning the final two games, including an 18-run output on Saturday, to win the series.

Florida has recorded one win against Florida State outside of Gainesville under head coach Kevin O'Sullivan, and it came in Tallahassee in 2009. Right-hander Greg Larson, then a freshman, tossed 4.1 shutout innings as the Gators cruised to a 10-2 win behind three RBIs from Avery Barnes and Teddy Foster.

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