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Monday April 8, 2013Florida Baseball Visits No. 7 Florida State Tuesday Night In Final Regular-Season Meeting

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida (15-18/5-7 SEC) and No. 7 Florida State (27-5/10-5 ACC) will break from the conference grind for their final regular-season meeting of the season on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles claimed the first two encounters, 4-1 in Gainesville on March 12 and 2-1 in Jacksonville on March 26.

 

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 on ESPN3 with Chip Baker and Tom Block, 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.

 

Over the weekend, Florida was on the short end of its first two games at No. 17 Mississippi State, 7-3 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday, before capturing Sunday’s finale, 8-3. Florida State split its first two meetings at Miami (4-2, 0-6) before taking the series with a 5-1 triumph on Sunday. The Seminoles remain in first place atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division with a 10-5 (.667) league mark.

 

Quick Hits About the Gators

·         Entering the meeting at Florida State, the Gators have 23 regular-season games remaining, 18 SEC contests and five non-league games (FSU, FGCU, USF, Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic).

·         UF is 7-7 (.500) versus Sunshine State foes this spring - 2-0 vs. UCF, 0-3 vs. FGCU, 0-2 vs. Florida State, 2-0 vs. Jacksonville, 2-1 vs. Miami and 1-1 vs. North Florida.

·         Florida has played the toughest schedule to date in the nation, as its opponents have a combined record of 678-285 (.704).

·         The Gators are 4-4 (.500) at an opponent’s home park this season 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) and No. 17 Mississippi State (3-7, 0-2, 8-3).

·         Florida is 7-10 (.412) versus top-25 opponents this season and is 90-73 (.552) in Kevin O’Sullivan’s six-year tenure. UF is 2-4 (.333) away from Gainesville against ranked foes in 2013 and is 32-31 (.508) under O’Sullivan.

·         Sophomore C Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (.294) enters the week on a career-high nine-game hitting streak in which he is 12-for-31 (.387) with seven runs, six RBI and six doubles. He was a team-best .455 (5-for-11) with four doubles in Starkville over the weekend.

·         Senior 1B Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (.294) hit .300 (3-for-10) versus Mississippi State and is riding a six-game hitting streak (9-for-21, .429).

·         Sophomore OF Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) leads the SEC with 12 doubles and paces the Gator offense in batting average (.313), total bases (61), hits (40) and slugging percentage (.477).

·         Sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (3-1, 2.25) emerged victorious in his SEC starting debut on Sunday, working 5.2 innings in which he yielded five hits and three runs to the Bulldogs. Over 36 innings this season, the righty has totaled 27 strikeouts and issued just three walks, with six saves in seven opportunities.

·         After suffering a broken finger on March 3 against Miami (FL) and missing 14-straight games, freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (.317) came in as a pinch runner for three games before serving as the Gators’ designated hitter for the first two games at MSU and then made his collegiate starting debut in center field for the finale, when he was 2-for-5 with an RBI single and a run scored out of the leadoff spot.

·         Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) (.230) was a career-best 3-for-4 in the series finale with MSU, including an infield single and a two-run double during the eight-run fifth inning.

·         The Gators are 8-8 (.500) when playing error-free baseball this year, including the last two outings, and sport an 8-4 (.667) mark when scoring in the first inning.

·         UF is 28-of-43 (.651) on the basepaths this spring, led by five thefts by freshman OF Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (5-for-10) and four by Tobias (4-for-4).

 

Series Nuggets

Florida State holds a 125-100-1 (.555) advantage in the all-time series and a 68-39-1 (.634) edge in Tallahassee. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 8-13 (.381) against Florida State, 5-1 (.833) in Gainesville, 2-4 (.333) in Tallahassee and 1-8 (.111) at neutral sites.

 

Seminoles Claimed First Matchup Of 2013

Sophomore right-hander Luke 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 in the first of the three regular-season meetings between the Sunshine State rivals. 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.

 

FSU Clinched Season Series In Jacksonville

Sophomore Giovanny Alfonzo came through with a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and lift No. 4 Florida State to a 2-1 victory over Florida on March 26 in front of 9,269 fans at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Gators were held to a season-low three hits, while Young notched then-career-highs in innings pitched (4.0) and strikeouts (5) but was saddled with the defeat.

 

Last Meeting In Tallahassee

No. 4 Florida rallied from a 3-0 deficit with six unanswered runs to defeat No. 1 Florida State (27-6) on April 10, 2012, 6-3, to complete a three-game sweep of the regular-season series between the Sunshine State rivals at sold-out Dick Howser Stadium. The Gators had previously emerged victorious against the Seminoles in Gainesville on March 13 (9-2) and in Jacksonville on March 27 (4-1).

 

The Orange and Blue had not taken all of the regular-season meetings from the Seminoles since 1958 (a pair of wins in Gainesville on April 11-12 that season), notched its first victory over the nation’s top-ranked team since a 5-4 triumph over FSU on April 18, 2007, and picked up its first win in Tallahassee since April 14, 2009 (10-2).

 

Right-hander Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) retired all nine batters he faced over a career-high three innings to pick up his first collegiate win, Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (3-for-5) snapped a 3-3 tie with a bases-loaded single in the sixth and the Gator bullpen fired six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one hit. Austin Maddox set down all five Seminoles he faced and had two strikeouts over 1.2 innings to register his ninth save. Mike Zunino (2-for-5) belted a game-tying homer in the fifth, while Nolan Fontana (2-for-3, three runs) and Brian Johnson (2-for-5) slugged solo shots as part of a 12-hit offensive attack.

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