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Tuesday April 15, 2008No. 1 Florida State Downs No. 24 Baseball, 4-2

Tallahassee, FL -

Senior Ryan Strauss twirled his first career complete game to lift No. 1 Florida State (32-3) to a 4-2 victory over No. 24 Florida (24-13) in front of a Dick Howser Stadium record crowd of 6,737 fans on Tuesday night. The right-hander (5-0) scattered seven hits and registered six strikeouts in defeating the Gators for the second time this season. The Seminoles overcame a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered runs to capture the rubber match of the regular-season series.

 

Sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) cranked his sixth homer of the year with two down in the first to give the Gators a 1-0 lead. There was a slight delay in Figueroa’s trip around the bases as the umpires discussed if his ball over the right-field screen was fair or foul.

 

An RBI grounder by sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) in the second resulted in a 2-0 lead for the visitors. Senior Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.), who finished 3-for-4, had led off with his second double of the season off Strauss and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.).

 

Junior Buster Posey (3-for-4) tied the game at 2-2 in the third with a two-out double off the screen in right. Sophomore Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) (0-3) retired the first two batters in the frame before yielding a single into center field by freshman Tyler Holt (2-for-4). Sophomore Jason Stidham then sliced a base-hit into right for runners on the corners and Posey clubbed his team-leading 16th two-bagger to even the score.

 

FSU seized a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Ohmed Danesh. Junior Tony Delmonico singled and raced over to third when junior Tommy Oravetz connected on a 3-2 pitch through the right side of the infield. After Danesh’s second sac fly, freshman Stuart Tapley poked a hit for two runners aboard and Mullaney had Holt ground out. The right-hander worked five innings, allowing nine hits and three runs, and had one strikeout.

 

Junior Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.) took over in the sixth and permitted a one-out pinch-hit single by freshman Mike McGee and a two-out single by Holt. The southpaw had Stidham ground out to Pisani at first base to bring the Seminoles’ total to eight runners left on base. They would end up with 12 stranded on the night.  

 

Senior reliever Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) recorded two quick outs in the home part of the seventh before walking senior Dennis Guinn. A fielding error by Townsend on Delmonico’s grounder resulted in runners on first and third and Edmondson answered with a strikeout of freshman Jack Posey.

 

The Gators threatened in the eighth, as sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) earned a free pass with one down and junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) delivered a single into right field. However, Strauss worked out of trouble by having sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) fly out to shallow left and induced an inning-ending grounder by Figueroa to preserve the 3-2 advantage.

 

Florida State tacked on an insurance run in bottom of the eighth on a squeeze bunt by Holt to complete the 4-2 margin. McGee started the frame with a single up the middle, stole second and was sacrificed to third by sophomore pinch hitter Stephen Cardullo. Although Holt bunted to Edmondson, McGee slid underneath the tag applied by junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.) and the runner reached on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) came out of the bullpen for Edmondson (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) and fanned Stidham on three pitches before giving way to sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.). After a wild pitch, the righty walked Buster Posey intentionally and was replaced by junior J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville, Fla.). As Holt was stealing third base, LaCoste uncorked a wild pitch to give FSU two men in scoring position. The southpaw came through with a key K of senior Jack Rye to keep the Gators within striking distance.

 

FSU held a 12-7 advantage in hits, as three players turned in multiple-hit outings. Barber and Barnes (2-for-4) accounted for five of the Gators’ seven hits. Florida journeys to Lexington this weekend to face No. 17 Kentucky (26-8/7-8 SEC) at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UF (9-6) is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Eastern Division with South Carolina and Tennessee, three games behind No. 7 Georgia (12-3).

 

-UF-

 

 

 

 

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