Junior left-hander Stephen Locke (2-0) kept the high-powered Seminole offense scoreless over 5.1 innings and sophomore Kyle Mullaney entered the game with the bases loaded in the eighth and recorded the final four outs to collect his second save. Kevin O'Sullivan became the first Gator head coach to win his initial encounter with FSU since Joe Arnold accomplished the feat in 1984.
"Anytime that you beat Florida State is a huge win," head coach Kevin
O'Sullivan said. "They are extremely well-coached and are a top-10
team year-in and year-out. They are always one of the top teams in the
country, so I feel that anytime you can get a win against them you have
to feel good. I feel good for our guys, they played good defense and
battled out there. We still have two more games against them, but
obviously that was a good win for us."
"That was great for the crowd to come out and support us like they did
tonight," O'Sullivan continued. "I know that it fired up our guys.
Hopefully, we can get more of these big crowds as we go."
Senior Dustin Bamberg opened the scoring in the
second inning with his first home run as a Gator. With two down, he sent
a 3-2 pitch from junior Bo O'Dell (1-1) over the bleachers in left field
to give the hosts the early lead.
In the top of the third, freshman Luke Smierciak (2-for-3) sliced a
one-out single through the right side of the infield. However, Locke
prevented further trouble by having freshman Tyler Holt ground into an
inning-ending double play that was started by senior first baseman
Brandon McArthur. Sophomore Jason Stidham walked on four
pitches to start the fourth before Locke induced a 4-6-3 double play by
junior Buster Posey. The southpaw had junior Tony Delmonico fly out to
right to end the frame.
The Gators increased their lead to 2-0 in the home part of the fourth on
a bases-loaded fielder's choice by senior Jon Townsend.
Freshman Josh Adams and McArthur began the stanza
with back-to-back singles before O'Dell had sophomore Jonathan Pigott line out to third base. Freshman Stuart Tapley
tried to catch Adams off second base but threw the ball into right
field, enabling the runner to take third. Bamberg drew a four-pitch free
pass to fill the sacks and end the night for O'Dell (3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R).
Townsend's grounder off freshman reliever Geoff Parker drove in Adams
and the righty rebounded to strike out sophomore Buddy Munroe to strand the pair of runners.
FSU mounted a two-out threat in the fifth, as freshman Mike McGee
singled and Tapley reached on a fielder's choice. The Gators escaped
unscathed when Munroe threw out Tapley attempting to steal second on a
wild pitch to close the frame.
Florida added two runs in the bottom of the inning on a bases-loaded
walk to Adams and a fielder's choice by McArthur to build a 4-0
advantage. Junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) (10-game hitting
streak) and sophomore Matt den Dekker (12-game
hitting streak) had consecutive base hits before sophomore Cole Figueroa
reached on a fielding error by senior first baseman
Dennis Guinn. Adams followed with a walk for a three-run margin and
McArthur's grounder to short brought in den Dekker. Figueroa was later
picked off third and Pigott flew out to hold the Seminoles' deficit at
Smierciak led off the sixth with a single to center and Holt walked
before Locke had Stidham fly out to right field. Senior Josh Edmondson
came out of the bullpen to relieve Locke (5.1 IP. 4 H, 3
K, 2 BB) and walked Buster Posey to load the bases. The righty caught
Delmonico looking on strikes and had Guinn hit a comebacker to the
mound, forcing Smierciak at home, to keep the Seminoles off the board.
"When we started off, I didn't really have great stuff, but they hit
ground balls and our guys made plays," Locke said. "We have been working
hard at practice. Everyone sees us out here during games, but we spend
hours and hours getting ready and preparing. The hard work has started
to pay off a little bit, but we need to continue to play hard."
FSU filled the bases again in the seventh but was denied when sophomore
Tony Davis had Stidham watch strike three. Junior
Tommy Oravetz walked to start things off and Tapley stroked a one-out
double for two runners in scoring position. Edmondson had Smierciak
ground to Townsend for the second out but issued a walk to Holt to fill
the bases. Davis was summoned from the bullpen and notched his third K
of the year to preserve UF's lead.
Guinn roped an RBI double with one down in the eighth off sophomore
right-hander Clint Franklin to score Buster Posey from
first base to narrow the gap to 4-1. A two-out walk to sophomore Ohmed
Danesh enabled the Seminoles to have runners on first and third before
Franklin plunked Tapley to fill the sacks. Mullaney had senior pinch
hitter Jack Rye pop up to Figueroa to close the inning.
The Gators tacked on a pair of insurance runs on three hits to seize a
6-1 lead in the bottom of the stanza. Pigott led off with a walk and was
sacrificed to second by Bamberg. Townsend delivered an RBI single into
left center to score Pigott and Munroe followed with a base-hit for two
men aboard. Barnes (3-for-4) collected his third hit of the night with a
single off freshman Ryan Vigue to plate Townsend with Florida's final
run of the evening.
UF held an 11-7 edge in hits, as eight of the nine starters chipped in
at least one, and O'Sullivan's club did not commit any errors. The
Seminoles left 11 men on base and were charged with three errors. The
Gators return to SEC action this weekend by visiting No. 8 Ole Miss
(13-5/2-1 SEC) for a three-game set. First pitch from Oxford-University
Stadium at Swayze Field on Friday will be at 7:30 p.m. and the game will
be carried live on FSN Florida. Sophomore Billy Bullock
(2-2, 2.78) will take the mound against Rebel junior right-hander Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.23) in the opener.
Courtesy UF Sports Information
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