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Tuesday April 13, 2010No. 6 Florida State Nips No. 7 Baseball, 3-2

Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida State freshman right-hander Scott Sitz (3-0) worked a career-high six innings and senior Stephen Cardullo (2-for-4) had a pair of doubles as the sixth-ranked Seminoles (26-7) edged No. 7 Florida (23-9), 3-2, on Tuesday night in front of 6,526 fans at Dick Howser Stadium, the eighth-largest crowd in school history. Due to the explosion of a power generator before the start of the game, the Sunshine State rivals began their fourth regular-season matchup of the spring with no electricity and played three and half innings before the power at the park was restored. With the victory, FSU claimed three of the four meetings.  


Junior Tyler Holt (2-for-5, two runs) led off the bottom of the first with a single through the right side off sophomore Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) (1-1) and moved into scoring position with his seventh stolen base. Cardullo advanced his teammate with a sacrifice bunt and sophomore James Ramsey (2-for-3) opened the scoring with a one-out single into left field.


The Gators put two runners aboard in the second with two down against Sitz, as sophomore Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) walked and senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was hit by a pitch. The righty had a grounder by freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) force Pigott at second to end the inning.


In the home part of the frame, FSU increased its lead to 3-0 on a two-out, two-run double by Cardullo. Larson retired the first two batters of the inning before yielding a single through the right side by junior Parker Brunelle. Holt followed with his second base-hit and Cardullo plated both of his teammates with his fourth double.


Larson surrendered a leadoff two-bagger to Ramsey in the third and was replaced by sophomore Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.). Over two innings, Larson gave up seven hits and three runs and had two strikeouts. Freshman Jayce Boyd laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Ramsey to third and junior Stuart Tapley earned a free pass for runners on the corners. Maronde worked out of the jam by having sophomore Sherman Johnson and freshman Devon Travis pop out.


Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) started the fourth with a single and freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) followed with his team-leading 10th double. An RBI grounder by junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville , Fla.) brought across Tucker to narrow the gap to 3-1. A two-out throwing error by Cardullo at shortstop enabled Pigott to extend the frame and Zunino deposited a flare into right center to bring the Gators within 3-2.


The Seminoles loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the inning but came away empty-handed. Maronde registered the first two outs before Cardullo roped his second double of the contest into right field and advanced on a wild pitch. Junior Mike McGee walked and Ramsey was hit by a pitch to fill the sacks before the southpaw had Boyd ground out.


A one-out double by Johnson into left field in the fifth prompted another pitching change, as sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) replaced Maronde (2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB). The righty set down Travis and Brunelle to hold the deficit at one run.


The Gators mounted a two-out rally of their own in the sixth, as Thompson walked and Pigott was hit for a second time. Johnson made a tremendous diving stop on a sharply hit ball by Zunino at third base and beat Thompson to the bag for the final out.


Sitz came out after a career-high six innings in which he allowed four hits and one earned run with four K and sophomore Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) drew a leadoff walk from junior Geoff Parker in the seventh. Parker responded by picking Wetizel off first base. After senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) walked with two out, Tucker went down on strikes.


DeSclafani struck out the side in the seventh and FSU junior Daniel Bennett (1.0 IP, 2 K) put the Gators down in order during the eighth. Johnson and Travis started things off in the home part of the stanza with back-to-back singles up the middle, ending the night for DeSclafani (2.2 IP, 2 H, 4 K). Brunelle greeted junior reliever Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) with a sacrifice bunt that pushed both runners into scoring position. However, the southpaw bounced back to whiff Holt and had Cardullo fly out to center to hold the margin at 3-2.


McGee came in from left field to the mound to start the ninth and picked up two outs before sophomore Ben McMahan (Windermere, Fla.) came through with a pinch-hit single into center field. The righty had freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) fly out to nail down his seventh save. The Seminoles enjoyed an 11-5 advantage in hits, matching the season low for the Orange and Blue. UF’s bullpen threw six shutout innings.


Florida returns to SEC action on Friday night at Eastern Division rival Kentucky (21-12/4-8 SEC) for the start of a three-game series in Lexington. The game will begin at 7 p.m. and will be carried locally in Gainesville on Cox Channel 21 and in Ocala on Cox Channel 15.


Game Notes

·          Florida State improved to 119-96-1 against the Gators, including 67-38-1 in Tallahassee.

·          UF fell to 5-7 away from Gainesville this season.

·          Preston Tucker raised his hitting streak to seven games with a fourth-inning single.

·          Greg Larson made his third career start, second in Tallahassee.

·          The Gators’ five hits came from five different players.




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