Gators Fall to FSU

The frustration for No. 4 Florida against No. 8 Florida State only continued on Tuesday in Tallahassee. The Gators (26-8) scratched across only one run on six hits to drop their third of four meetings against the Seminoles this season. Right-hander Hunter Scantling tossed seven scoreless innings to help Florida State to a 3-1 win at Dick Howser Stadium.

"He got us to chase some balls early in the count," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said on his post game radio show. "We just lost our stances. The game plan was to get on the plate so that we didn't reach or chase so much, but we just weren't able to do that. Scantling was good tonight, and you're not going to win many games when you score one run."

The Seminoles have won seven of their last nine meetings between the two teams. O'Sullivan is 5-11 against Florida State since becoming the Florida head coach.

It was a similar story for the Gators at the plate. The Seminoles threw a heavy dose of off-speed pitches and the Florida hitters couldn't lay off them. The Gators have scored only eight runs in four games against the Seminoles this season.

Through the first eight innings, the Gators recorded only three hits. Preston Tucker started the ninth with a double and scored on a single by Brian Johnson. Two batters later, Tyler Thompson singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Kamm Washington pinch-hit against Florida State right-handed sidearm Daniel Bennett, but the Florida sophomore grounded out to second to end the game.

It was a frustrating night at the plate, but the best sign of the night for the Gators came from starting pitcher Alex Panteliodis (2-1). Despite getting the loss, the junior left-hander went five innings and allowed four hits and one run while recording five strikeouts.

Panteliodis hasn't been the same this year off the heels of an 11-win sophomore season, but Tuesday night was a step in the right direction.

"That was the best he has thrown all year," O'Sullivan said. "We wanted to get him out after five (innings) so that the hip stayed okay and so that we have him for the weekend if we need him. I'm really proud of his effort tonight."

The Seminoles got their final two runs in the seventh inning. A single and a throwing error by Zack Powers gave the Seminoles second and third with one out. Florida pitcher Greg Larson was trying to intentionally walk pinch hitter Parker Brunelle to load the bases and set up a force play. He threw the intentional ball when the home plate umpire and catcher Mike Zunino both had their masks off in conversation, and it was wild to allow a run to score.

Despite O'Sullivan arguing with the umpire, the call stood and the Seminoles took a 2-0 lead.

"I'm not really sure what I can say," O'Sullivan said. "The umpire had his mask off, and Mike had his mask off talking to each other. I'm not quite sure why Greg threw the ball though."

Tommy Toledo came in relief and allowed another run to score on another wild pitch to give Florida State a three-run advantage after seven innings.

The Gators can't allow the frustration from the loss to bleed into this weekend as they will face a stiff road test from a suddenly hot Georgia team in Athens. This weekend is also Georgia's football spring game, so the Gators will have to do it in front of big crowds.

"There's not much we can do now," O'Sullivan said about the loss to Florida State. "This one is over, and it's disappointing no question. No one wants to win this rivalry game more than our players and coaches. We just haven't done enough to win these games, but there's a possibility that we wind up facing them down the road. We've got to learn from our mistakes and get better."

Fightin Gators Top Stories