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Tuesday April 1, 2008No. 13 Baseball Falls To No. 2 Florida State

Jacksonville, FL -

Senior Ryan Strauss (3-0) worked seven strong innings and second-ranked Florida State (24-3) plated seven runs in its last two at bats on its way to a 10-2 victory over No. 13 Florida (20-7) in front of 7,215 fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Tuesday night. The right-hander held the Gators to one run on four hits and the Seminoles broke open a 3-1 game with a two-run homer from junior Buster Posey (3-for-4) in the seventh before adding five more runs in the eighth. The teams will play the rubber game of the regular-season series on April 15 in Tallahassee.

 

FSU used a suicide squeeze by freshman Jack Posey in the second to open the scoring against junior Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.) (2-1). Junior Tony Delmonico (3-for-5) began the frame with a single up the middle and freshman Mike McGee followed with a walk before freshman Stuart Tapley (2-for-3) sacrificed his teammates into scoring position. Posey pushed Locke’s initial offering up the first-base line to bring in Delmonico.

 

Although a fielder’s choice by senior Dennis Guinn in the third resulted in a 2-0 lead, the Seminoles left the bases full. Sophomore Jason Stidham and Buster Posey started the inning with back-to-back singles and were moved over on a bunt by senior Jack Rye. The next batter, Guinn, sent a grounder to sophomore shortstop Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) that plated Stidham. Consecutive bunt singles by Delmonico and McGee filled the bases with two down but Locke had Tapley’s ground ball force McGee at second for the third out.  

 

Sophomore Buddy Munroe’s (Miami, Fla.) infield single in the fifth cut FSU’s advantage in half but the Gators could not capitalize on a base-loaded situation of their own. Seniors Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) and Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) reached Strauss for consecutive singles before a fielder’s choice by sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) erased McArthur. With runners on the corners, Munroe’s base-knock into the hole at shortstop drove in Townsend. Sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to fill the sacks with two down before Strauss had Figueroa fly out to left.

 

Tapley belted his third homer with two down in the sixth to give the Seminoles a 3-1 lead. The solo shot cleared the fence in left field. Locke matched a season high with six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs, with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.

 

Sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) issued a leadoff walk in the seventh to Holt and Buster Posey launched his eighth round-tripper with a towering blast to left to put Florida State ahead by a 5-1 margin.

 

FSU erupted for five runs on four hits, three walks and a wild pitch in the eighth off sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) to build a 10-1 lead. McGee drew a leadoff walk and raced to third on a base-hit into right center by Tapley. After freshman pinch runner Luke Smierciak swiped second base, a grounder by Jack Posey scored McGee. Holt earned a free pass and then Stidham laced an RBI single up the middle to plate Smierciak. Mullaney uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Holt to come across and walked Buster Posey. Rye stroked an RBI double down the left field line to score Stidham and a grounder by Guinn enabled Posey to tally the ‘Noles final run.

 

Redshirt freshman Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) drove in sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) with a fielder’s choice in the ninth to complete the scoring. Florida State held a 13-6 edge in hits, as four players turned in multi-hit efforts. Six players accounted for UF’s offense, while McArthur extended his hitting streak to eight games. The Gators will host North Florida (15-12) tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium. The Ospreys dealt the Orange and Blue a 15-8 setback last season and have captured both of the series meetings.  

 

-UF-

 

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