No. 4 Gators Sweep Season Series With FSU

Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan knew that his team needed a win. They already had the series win secured over No. 1 Florida State, but securing the sweep for a struggling Florida team would create momentum heading into the conference weekend. No. 4 Florida secured the first regular season sweep of the Seminoles since 1958 with a 6-3 win in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

"The most important thing is we got a win," Kevin O'Sullivan said on the post game radio show. "Regardless of how we did it, I thought it was important for us to come up here and get a win and something positive moving forward."

The Florida offense scored six runs while the defense played solid and the pitching staff walked just one hitter. The Gators did leave ten runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the second and third innings.

There is still work to be done, but O'Sullivan was just happy to secure the series sweep, which means Florida will end the regular season with a 6-0 record against Florida State and Miami.

"I'm glad we won," O'Sullivan said after his team had lost five of its previous seven games. "It has been a really tough stretch. I want to take as many positives from this game as we possibly can. There was a lot of good things that happened tonight. I'm walking out of this thing with a lot of positives as we get ready for Tennessee.

"Yes, we left some guys stranded. Yes, it was going down that road for the first three innings when we did cash in, but we ended up winning."

With the Seminoles holding a 3-0 lead after three innings, Daniel Pigott got the Gators on the board with a two-out single that scored Nolan Fontana.

One inning later, Mike Zunino launched a 1-2 pitch off the scoreboard at Dick Howser Stadium to tie the game at three.

"Mike's two-run homer obviously took some pressure off," O'Sullivan said.

Starting pitcher Brian Johnson, who helped the Gators tack on with a solo homer in the ninth inning, was pulled after three inning and 62 pitches. O'Sullivan said his status for this weekend will be decided later.

When Johnson came out, freshman right-hander Ryan Harris had the best outing of his career. He came into the game throwing just six innings on the season, but Harris posted a career-high three perfect innings and struck out one hitter while recording the first win of his collegiate career.

Eight of the nine hitters Harris faced were retired on ground balls.

"Ryan has a really heavy fastball," O'Sullivan said. "It's 90-94 (mph) and really runs and sinks. When it's down, he's got a chance to get a lot of ground balls. He threw a couple good sliders as well. This was a game that should help him moving forward.

"He reminds me a lot of Greg Larson, probably with just a little better fastball. He can come in, eat up some innings and get a lot of ground balls. He should have plenty of nights like this."

Steven Rodriguez and Austin Maddox combined to throw the final three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six.

During the three-game series against Florida State this year, the Florida bullpen totaled 17.2 innings, giving up five hits, no runs, two walks and 16 strikeouts.

Florida will use Wednesday as its weekly off day before traveling to Knoxville on Thursday. The Gators will practice at Tennessee on Thursday night before starting the series with the Volunteers on Friday night.


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