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Tuesday March 30, 2010No. 4 FSU Downs No. 8 Baseball, 7-2

Jacksonville, Fla.

No. 4 Florida State (20-4) notched a 7-2 victory over No. 8 Florida (18-6) on Tuesday night  in front of a sellout crowd of 9,276 fans at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Seminoles took advantage of a season-high five Gator errors that led to five unearned runs to take a 2-1 advantage in the regular-season series. The clubs will meet again on April 13 in Tallahassee. Sophomore Brian Busch (4-0) twirled 4.1 scoreless innings and totaled six strikeouts to earn the win.  

 

Florida State used an RBI single by freshman Devon Travis off senior Jeff Barfield (Perry, Ga.) and capitalized on a Gator error to open the scoring in the second inning. Junior Stuart Tapley (2-for-4, three runs, two RBI) reached with one down when freshman right fielder Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla.) dropped his fly ball. Sophomore Sherman Johnson followed with a base-hit up the middle and Travis drove in Tapley with an RBI single through the right side of the infield. With runners on the corners, Barfield worked out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts of freshman Jayce Boyd and redshirt junior Rafael Lopez.

 

Sophomore Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) gave Florida a 2-1 lead in the home part of the inning with his first homer since May 16, 2009, against Kentucky. Washington reached on a one-out error by senior shortstop Stephen Cardullo and stole his seventh base with two down. Thompson connected on a homer off junior Geoff Parker that landed just over the right-field fence.

 

The Seminoles countered with a run in the third to even the game but left the bases loaded. Sophomore Justin Poovey (Granite Falls, N.C.) replaced Barfield (2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and yielded a leadoff single to junior Tyler Holt. A wild pitch moved Holt into scoring position and Cardullo tied the game with a base-knock into right center. Sophomore James Ramsey (2-for-5, two runs) roped a one-out single into left field that pushed Cardullo to third and advanced to second on the relay throw. Freshman Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) (2-2) replaced Poovey (0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R) and struck out Tapley before issuing an intentional walk to Johnson that loaded the bases. The move paid off when the rookie had Johnson line out to left field.

 

Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-4) led off the fourth with his team-leading ninth double to raise his hitting streak to eight games and was sacrificed to third on a bunt by freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.). After Washington drew a walk for runners on the corners, Parker had sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) fly out and Thompson ground out to prevent any damage.

 

Randall retired the first two batters in the fifth before giving up a double into right center by Tapley. Sophomore Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.) took over on the hill for Randall (2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and Johnson hit a bouncing ball that Tucker misplayed for an error, allowing Tapley to score the go-ahead run.

 

Freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) started the bottom of the frame with a walk and stole second as senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) went down on a 3-2 pitch. Parker had junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) fly out to center and was replaced by Busch. Over 4.2 innings, Parker permitted three hits and zero earned runs, with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. The reliever had sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) ground out to preserve the 3-2 lead.

 

Helped by another Gator error, Florida State extended its lead to 5-2 in the seventh. Junior Mike McGee reached on Maddox’s second miscue of the night to begin the inning and scored on a double into the right-field corner by Ramsey, prompting another pitching change. Junior Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) took over for Maronde (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER) and a passed ball by Zunino enabled Ramsey to take third. Tapley drew a walk for runners on the corners and Travis lofted a sacrifice fly to deep left field to bring across Ramsey for a three-run FSU advantage.

 

In the ninth, Ramsey reached on a throwing error by Chapman (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER) and Tapley followed with his fourth homer over the fence in left to finalize the 7-2 margin. Sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) recorded the final three outs for UF. The Seminoles held a 9-6 advantage in hits.

 

The Gators return to SEC action on Friday night with the opener of a three-game series at McKethan Stadium against Eastern Division rival No. 17 Vanderbilt (22-4/4-2 SEC). Start time will be at 6:35 p.m. and 2010 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Messler will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

        

Game Notes

·          Florida State has captured three of the four meetings between the squads in Jacksonville.

·          The Gators’ five errors were their most since committing five at Arkansas on March 15, 2009.

·          Tonight marked the first loss for UF’s bullpen, as it had been 7-0 with eight saves.

·          Before tonight, Jeff Barfield’s last start had come against Florida Gulf Coast on April 21, 2009 (no-decision, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R).

·          Austin Maddox has two or more hits in five-straight games and leads the Gators with 13 multiple-hit outings.

 

-UF-

 

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