Second-ranked Florida State
(10-0) banged out 20 hits to hand Florida
(4-4) a 14-6 setback on Tuesday night in front of 5,140 fans at McKethan Stadium. The crowd was the fourth-largest for a
mid-week game in Gator history. Possessing a team batting average of .420
entering the contest, seven players contributed multiple-hit efforts for the
Seminoles, led by junior Tony Thomas, Jr. (3-for-5, three runs), junior Jack
Rye (3-for-5, two runs) and freshman D’Vontrey
Richardson (3-for-5, three runs, three RBI).
“FSU is a fine offensive club,” said head coach Pat McMahon. “They are swinging the bat
as well as any team I have seen at this point in the season. We were
disappointed with the outcome tonight, but I was proud of the fact that after
they put up a three-spot in the first inning, our guys answered with two.
Later, they put up runs, and we answered again. Our guys put in a lot of effort
and that is a good sign offensively. We just need to find the right combination
in our order. When you are playing up to this kind of level of competition,
like FSU, it is great for our team and will give us a lot of answers moving
The Seminoles jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the
first against freshman Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.)
on three hits and a pair of Gator errors. Thomas singled up the middle on the
initial pitch of the game and went to third on a base-hit by junior Mark Hallberg. Chapman had sophomore Buster Posey ground into a
4-6-3 double play and Thomas scored on the grounder. Rye earned a free pass, stole second and came
across on junior Dennis Guinn’s single into shallow center field. Rookie Jason Stidham was hit by a pitch, advancing his teammate to
second, before a combination of two errors enabled Guinn to score.
In the bottom of the frame, Florida
responded with two runs of its own on an RBI grounder by junior Bryson Barber (Pensacola,
Fla.) and a double by freshman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.)
to close the gap to 3-2. Freshman Cole
Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
laced a one-out single and senior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
was hit by a pitch from sophomore Bo O’Dell before a wild pitch advanced the
runners into scoring position. Barber’s grounder to first plated Figueroa and Pisani’s two-bagger went down the third-base line and
bounced off the bag for the Gators’ second tally.
FSU extended its advantage to 6-2 in the second
with four more hits, including three-straight with two down.
to right to start things off and went to third on senior Brandon Reichert’s
ground ball. After Thomas was hit by a pitch, Hallberg’s
grounder scored Richardson.
An infield hit by Posey left the Seminoles with runners on the corners and Rye
and Guinn produced consecutive RBI singles for a four-run margin.
Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) picked an opportune time for his
first hit of the campaign, belting a two-run homer into the left-field
bleachers to pull the Gators within 6-4 in the home portion of the second. Soon
after, junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.)
roped a single to end the night for O’Dell (1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R). LaPorta was hit for the second time in the game by
sophomore Travis Burge (1-0) for a pair of runners on base before the reliever
struck out Barber.
Florida State manufactured another run in the fourth against
junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.).
Thomas stroked a single up the middle, swiped second base and later scored
following back-to-back groundouts by Hallberg and
Posey. UF answered on Figueroa’s third homer with two down in the fourth to
reduce its deficit back to two runs.
cranked his first career round-tripper off the scoreboard with one down in the
fifth for an 8-5 Seminole advantage. Barber was hit to lead off the bottom of
the stanza and Pisani earned a base on balls before
freshman Matt den Dekker’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
sacrifice attempt forced Barber at third and prompted a pitching change. Senior
Brian Chambers took over on the hill for Burge (3.0 IP, 4 K, 1 H) and retired
sophomore Cody Neer
and senior Brian Leclerc
(Clearwater, Fla.) to strand the runners.
A two-out, two-run triple in the seventh by Thomas
increased FSU’s lead to 10-5. Senior pinch hitter
Travis Anderson and Richardson greeted sophomore reliever Patrick Keating (Harrisburg,
Ill.) with consecutive one-out
singles before the right-hander had Reichert pop up to right. Thomas then ripped
a 1-2 offering off the right-field wall for his third hit and first triple of
the campaign. Pisani collected his second RBI double of the night to bring across LaPorta,
who had also produced a two-bagger, to narrow the gap to 10-6.
Florida State countered with four runs on three hits and a
Gator error off senior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
in the eighth to finalize the 14-6 margin. During the frame, Stidham contributed an RBI single and Richardson blasted a three-run homer into the
left-field bleachers with two down for his first career HR.
FSU’s first five hitters in
the lineup were a combined 12-for-27 (.444) with eight runs and seven RBI.
Petrie was 3-for-4 and the duo of Figueroa and Pisani
had two hits apiece for the hosts. Chambers worked 3.2 innings, giving up four
hits and one run, before junior Danny Rosen threw a scoreless ninth. Florida used six different
pitchers, with Chapman taking the loss to drop to 1-1. The Gators return to
action on Friday night when they face Kent State
(0-3) at 6:30 p.m. in the opener of a three-game series at McKethan
Gators sent two more balls out of the yard tonight, bringing their HR
total to 16.
three of Cole Figueroa’s homers have been solo shots. He has three
multiple-hit games in a row.
LaPorta went down swinging on strikes in the
fourth, his first K in 37 plate appearances this season.
Edmondson’s 3.2-inning relief stint matched his career high.