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Monday March 25, 2013UF Baseball & No. 4 Florida State Collide In Jacksonville On Tuesday

Gainesville, Fla.

Sunshine State rivals Florida (11-14/2-4 SEC) and No. 4 Florida State (22-2/7-2 ACC) will break from the conference grind for the second of three regular-season meetings on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Seminoles claimed the initial encounter, 4-1, in Gainesville on March 12 and the teams will meet in Tallahassee on April 9.

 

The Share A Little Sunshine Showdown, Florida vs. Florida State Game is presented by Visit Florida. Share a Little Sunshine is Visit Florida’s campaign to encourage all Floridians to invite their friends and families to Florida to boost tourism and help our state’s economy.

 

The contest between the Gators and Seminoles will be carried in Gainesville on FOX Sports Florida (Channel 70 and Channel 1070 HD) with Nick Belmonte and Gene Deckerhoff, while Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network. Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.

 

Freshman Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (1-1, 4.91) will make his sixth start of the season on Tuesday. In his last outing, the righty collected his first collegiate victory against North Florida on March 19 (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 5 K, 1 BB). Simpson has made six appearances this year and has allowed 23 hits and 13 runs over 22 innings, with 20 strikeouts and six walks.

 

Sophomore RHP Luke Weaver (3-0, 1.00) will be starting against the Gators for the second time this season. He gave up three hits and one run, with five strikeouts and two walks, over 6.1 innings and was the winner in FSU’s 4-1 triumph at McKethan Stadium.

 

Florida downed No. 2 Vanderbilt on Friday night, 7-1, before the Commodores rebounded to take the series with wins on Saturday night, 6-1, and Sunday afternoon, 5-4. Florida State fell to No. 11 Georgia Tech in its series opener, 10-0, then bounced back with a pair of victories (11-3 & 8-6) to capture the series. FSU remains in first place atop the Atlantic Division with a 7-2 (.778) league mark.

 

Quick Hits About the Gators

·         Florida will be wrapping up a four-game road trip with its second trek to Jacksonville this season.

·         This will be the seventh annual clash between the squads at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville during the regular season, with the Seminoles holding a 4-2 (.667) edge.

·         The Gators are 3-2 (.600) away from Gainesville after defeating UCF (5-3 on Feb. 19) and Jacksonville (8-5 on March 5) and losing two of three contests at No. 2 Vanderbilt (7-1, 1-6, 4-5) over the weekend.

·         The encounter with No. 4 Florida State continues a challenging stretch in which UF has met top-10 foes in seven of the last eight games.

·         Simpson will make his second Tuesday night start in a row after downing North Florida last week for his first collegiate win.

·         Freshman OF Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (2-for-4) had two of the Gators’ five hits in the first meeting with FSU on March 12. Bader’s career-high eight-game hitting streak was snapped on Sunday afternoon, a stretch in which he was 13-for-33 (.394), with four runs and four RBI.

·         Sophomore SS Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (.303) enters the week on a team-high seven-game hitting streak in which he is 9-for-28 (.321) with five runs and two RBI. His career-long skein is nine games between May 18 and June 9, 2012.

·         Sophomore C Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (.263) has belted three homers in the past four games, highlighted by a three-run blast in Nashville on Friday night that moved the Gators in front of second-ranked Vanderbilt.

·         UF has played error-free baseball in six of its last 10 games and has committed just one fielding miscue in the last four games.

·         Freshman SS Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) is sidelined after being injured in the finale with Miami (FL) on March 3. He is riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-42 (.357). Martin has reached base in all 12 games he played this year and is batting .327 overall with seven runs and three stolen bases in three attempts.

·         Freshman RHP Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) (3-1, 1.88) registered his first SEC victory on Friday night, when he out-dueled Vanderbilt left-hander Kevin Ziomek. Making his second collegiate start and first on the road, Carmichael permitted one run and three hits over five innings.

·         Sophomore RHP Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (3-2, 3.67) has made a team-high 15 relief appearances and has recorded 14 K and seven BB in 27 innings.

·         The Gators are 6-5 (.545) when scoring first and 5-9 (.357) when their opponent scores first. Seven of UF’s 11 wins this season have come when it has scored in the opening stanza.

 

Series Nuggets

Florida State holds a 124-100-1 (.553) advantage in the all-time series and a 9-8 (.529) edge in neutral-site meetings. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 8-12 (.400) against Florida State, 5-1 (.833) in Gainesville, 2-4 (.333) in Tallahassee and 1-7 (.125) at neutral sites.

 

Last Meeting Between Gators & Seminoles

Weaver (3-0) gave up three hits and an unearned run over 6.1 innings and sophomore Giovanny Alfonzo (2-for-4) had a key two-run single as No. 5 Florida State defeated Florida 4-1, on March 12. It was the Seminoles’ first win at McKethan Stadium since 2007, ending a stretch of five-straight losses. Freshman left-hander Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (0-1) went 3.1 innings and had three strikeouts in his starting debut, while Bader went 2-for-4 and scored UF’s lone run.


Last Meeting In Jacksonville

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 Turgeon and an RBI single by Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) on its way to a 4-1 victory over No. 4 Florida State (21-4) on March 27, 2012, 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.

 

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 Austin Maddox 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.

 

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. Mike Zunino had a one-out single into left field, ending the night for Scott Sitz, who gave up two hits, totaled five strikeouts and issued three walks over 5.1 innings. Brian Busch had Brian 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 James Ramsey and allowed both Zunino and Gushue to come across. 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.

 

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