Tuesday March 31, 2009No. 23 FSU Edges No. 19 Baseball, 3-2, In 5 Innings
No. 23 Florida State (17-8) nipped No. 19 Florida (18-9), 3-2, in a game that was shortened to five full innings because of weather issues on Tuesday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in front of a crowd of 6,251 fans. Sophomore Jack Posey (2-for-3) snapped a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer in the top of the fifth off freshman Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (2-3) and the Seminoles kept the Gators off the board in the bottom of the frame before the game was halted at 9:03 p.m. due to heavy rains and thunder in the area.
Florida State totaled three hits and grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against senior Stephen Locke (Tampa, Fla.). Sophomore Tyler Holt (2-for-3) opened the game with a single into left field and stole second before junior Stephen Cardullo drew a walk. Sophomore Stuart Tapley flew out to center field and Holt tagged up to go to third but freshman third baseman Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) could not handle the relay throw, scoring Holt and advancing Cardullo to second. After Cardullo swiped third base, junior Jason Stidham drove in his teammate with a sacrifice fly into left field.
The Seminoles loaded the bases with two down in the third but came away empty-handed. Cardullo was hit by a pitch to begin the frame and took third on a single into right center by Stidham, causing a pitching change. Freshman Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) replaced Locke (2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R), who was on a pitch count, and fielded a bunt from Posey and threw Cardullo out at the plate. After Larson walked sophomore Mike McGee to fill the bags with two down, he had senior Tommy Oravetz ground out to strand the runners.
Larson retired the first two Seminoles in the fourth before Holt singled and stole second and then Cardullo walked. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position and Larson issued a free pass to Tapley to load the bases and cause a pitching change. Panteliodis took over and had Stidham ground out to first to end the frame, bringing FSUís total to eight runners left on base.
Helped by an error, the Gators evened the score at 2-2 in the home part of the inning. Senior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) started the stanza with a single and junior Buddy Munroe (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch with one down from sophomore Geoff Parker (3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R). Following a passed ball that advanced the runners, senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) walked to load the bases and prompt a call to the bullpen. Freshman Preston Tuckerís (Tampa, Fla.) grounder off sophomore John Gast (3-2) was misplayed by Tapley at third, allowing both Barnes and Munroe to come across. With runners on the corners and one down, junior Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) hit into an inning-ending 4-3 double play to douse the rally.
Posey moved the Seminoles back in front with a homer to deep left in the fifth for a 3-2 margin. Weitzel opened the bottom of the inning for Florida with an infield hit and was sacrificed over by junior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Rookie Sean Gilmartin was summoned from the bullpen and tossed one pitch, as freshman Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) lined into an inning-ending double play. As a result of the weather forcing a cancellation of the nightís action, Gilmartin was credited with his first collegiate save.
The Seminoles held a 6-4 edge in hits, while den Dekkerís 11-game hitting streak came to an end. The teams will play the rubber game of the regular-season series on April 14 in Tallahassee. Florida resumes action tomorrow at McKethan Stadum when it hosts Stetson at 6:30 p.m. The Gators defeated the Hatters, 5-2, in DeLand on March 3. †