Gators Drop Close One to ‘Noles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Gator baseball team lost a 3-2 decision to Florida State here in Tallahassee in one of the oddest games I can remember. Well, make that under one of the oddest set of circumstances I've ever seen --- the game itself was pretty normal.

The game was about 15 minutes from starting when the power went out in Dick Howser Stadium. During the delay the teams agreed to begin the game, figuring they had at least 90 minutes before sunset and that would give FSU officials that much time to re-route the power in the area and possible get electricity into the facility. If that didn't work, the game would be suspended at whatever point it was at no matter the score and resumed at a later date.

On top of that, due to the lack of power Jeff Cardozo and I called the game for the Gator Radio Network with a cell phone. Fortunately for us the nearest cell tower still had some juice.

FSU scored a run in the first and two in the second to take their third lead of 3-0 or more in the four game series. The Gators got close with two runs in the fourth inning. Preston Tucker led off with a single and Austin Maddox doubled to put runners on second and third. Josh Adams drove in one run with a slow grounder and with two outs Mike Zunino blooped a single to centerfield to drive in Maddox to make it a 3-2 game.

In the bottom of the fourth it was iffy whether or not the teams would get to play the fifth inning but then the lights came on and power was finally restored. Well it was restored to the building, but not the hitters on the two teams. Neither squad would score the rest of the way. Florida had a great chance in the sixth inning. With two on and two outs, Zunino ripped a scorcher down the third baseline. FSU third baseman Sherman Johnson made a great diving stop on the ball and followed that with a dive to first base to retire Tyler Thompson and end the Gator threat.

The loss ruined a superb outing by Gator relievers Nick Maronde, Anthony DeSclafani and Kevin Chapman who combined for six scoreless innings in a losing effort. The No. 7 Gators fell to 23-9 on the year, while FSU (N0. 6) improved to 26-7. The Seminoles win the season series three games to one.

Florida is back in action this weekend with a three game set at Kentucky.

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