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Tuesday March 27, 2012Three-Run Sixth Moves No. 1 Baseball Past No. 4 Florida State, 4-1

Jacksonville, Fla.

Down by a 1-0 score, No. 1 Florida (23-2) tallied three runs with two down in the sixth inning on a two-run triple by freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and an RBI single by junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) on its way to a 4-1 victory over No. 4 Florida State (21-4) on Tuesday night in front of 10,751 fans at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Gator bullpen threw 5.1 scoreless innings to clinch the regular-season series between the Sunshine State rivals for the first time since 2009. The triumph was Florida’s first in Jacksonville since a 16-7 win over FSU on April 3, 2007.


Freshman Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (3-0) induced an inning-ending double play after the Seminoles loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and picked up the win, while junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) hurled a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save in as many chances. Ramjit (2-for-4) added an insurance RBI single in the eighth inning. 


Florida State began the scoring in the fourth inning against senior right-hander Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) on an RBI grounder by senior James Ramsey. Senior Sherman Johnson had led off with a double down the right-field line and junior Devon Travis (2-for-4) followed with a bunt single for runners on the corners. Ramsey’s grounder to first base enabled Johnson to score the game’s opening run and Travis to occupy second base. Junior Jayce Boyd walked on four pitches and the Seminoles executed a double steal for two runners in scoring position. Larson struck out redshirt sophomore Stephen McGee and was replaced by sophomore Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.), who had junior Seth Miller ground out to end the frame. In his fourth career start, three against FSU, Larson gave up three hits and one run and matched his career high with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings.


In the bottom of the frame, senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) collected the Gators’ first hit off junior Scott Sitz with a two-out flare into left field. The right-hander had freshman Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) ground out to second base.


Turgeon earned a free pass to start the inning but Sitz struck out Ramjit and junior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) fly out to left field. Although Boyd committed an error at first base on a ball hit by junior Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) to extend the inning, Sitz had senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) fly out to straightaway center field.


The Seminoles loaded the bases with one down in the sixth but came away empty-handed. Johnson drew a four-pitch walk to begin the stanza before Travis flew out to center field. Ramsey legged out an infield single to second for a couple of Seminoles on base and a wild pitch advanced the runners. Boyd was walked intentionally to load the bases and Gibson (1.2 IP, 1 H) was replaced by Magliozzi, who had McGee bounce into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.


Held scoreless through the first five innings, the Gators used a two-out, two-run triple by Turgeon and an RBI single by Ramjit to seize a 3-1 lead in the home part of the sixth. Junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) had a one-out single into left field, ending the night for Sitz, who gave up two hits, totaled five strikeouts and issued three walks over 5.1 innings. Senior Brian Busch had Johnson fly out to center field and then Gushue drew a walk. Turgeon launched a ball to deep center field that grazed off the glove of a diving Ramsey and allowed both Zunino and Gushue to come across. Senior Hunter Scantling took over for Busch (0-1) and surrendered an RBI single into right field by Ramjit that gave UF a two-run advantage.   


Junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) took the mound in the seventh and retired FSU in order. In the bottom of the frame, Pigott ripped a one-out triple off the wall in right center and the Seminoles brought in freshman Bryant Holtmann for Scantling (0.2 IP, 2 H). Tucker walked on four pitches for runners on the corners and the lefty had Zunino ground out, pushing Tucker to second but leaving Pigott on third. Holtmann worked out of the jam by having Johnson fly out to left field.


In the eighth, Gushue drew a leadoff walk from freshman Luke Weaver and moved into scoring position on a grounder by Turgeon. Ramjit provided the Gators with a 4-1 margin with a base-hit into right center field that brought home Gushue but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.


Rodriguez worked two scoreless frames, giving up just one hit, and had a couple of strikeouts. Pitching in his hometown, Maddox closed the game with back-to-back strikeouts of McGee and Miller. UF held a 6-5 edge in hits, including a season-high two triples.


This Florida-Florida State baseball game was part of the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown Series. Presented by Fresh from Florida, its goal is to remind all fans of the importance of buying home grown and harvested products from Florida. It supports our state’s farmers and fishermen, and our local economies.


The Gators continue their eight-game road trip with a three-game series at No. 16 Ole Miss (18-7/3-3 SEC) that begins on Friday night. The opener from O-U Stadium/Swayze Field will be carried live on Sun Sports at 7:30 p.m.


Game Notes

·         Florida registered its 13th come-from-behind win of the campaign.

·         UF notched its first victory over Florida State at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville since a 16-7 triumph on April 3, 2007.

·         The Seminoles lead the series in Jacksonville since 2007, 4-2.

·         The Gators improved to 10-2 against ranked teams this season, 7-1 versus top-10 squads.

·         Senior Greg Larson matched his career-best total of four strikeouts for the third time this year.

·         Both freshman Casey Turgeon and senior Daniel Pigott had his first triple of the season tonight.

·         Senior Preston Tucker’s eight-game hitting streak ended with a 0-for-2 performance.

·         Tucker and freshman Taylor Gushue drew two walks apiece.

·         The Gators claimed the first meeting against FSU by a 9-2 score in Gainesville on March 13.

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