extended its winning streak to seven games by knocking off third-ranked Florida State (16-2), 6-1, in front of a McKethan Stadium record crowd of 5,719 fans on Tuesday
night. Junior left-hander Stephen Locke (Tampa,
Fla.) (2-0) kept the
high-powered Seminole offense scoreless over 5.1 innings and sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.)
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.
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.”
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.”
Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) 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 (Seffner, Fla.).
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
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 (London, Ky.).
Freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville,
Fla.) and McArthur began the stanza with
back-to-back singles before O’Dell had sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.)
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 (Miami,
Fla.) to strand the pair of
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.
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 (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
(12-game hitting streak) had consecutive base hits before sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
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 four runs.
off the sixth with a single to center and Holt walked before Locke had Stidham fly out to right field. Senior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
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 (Cooper City,
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 (Orlando, Fla.)
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 collected his third hit of the night
with a single off freshman Ryan Vigue to plate Townsend
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 (Balm, Fla.) (2-2, 2.78) will
take the mound against Rebel junior right-hander Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.23) in the
- Florida improved to 12-1 when scoring first.
- Tonight’s attendance of 5,719
surpassed the previous mark of 5,698 set during Game 2 of the 2005 NCAA
Super Regional against Florida
- The Gators ended a two-game
slide at home to the Seminoles and have now captured four of the last
meetings with FSU.
- Twelve of Florida’s 20 home runs this season have
come with two outs.
- In his three starts this
season, Stephen Locke has allowed only three runs.
- The last time Florida held the
Seminoles to one run or less was in Game 1 of the 2005 NCAA Super Regional
(8-1, June 10).
- After registering zero saves
in their first 15 games, the Gators have collected three in a row.