Sunday February 25, 2001Baseball Battles Back, Falls to FSU 13-11
Florida rallied back from a 13-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning but Florida State registered its third out and won a 13-11 decision Sunday before 3,854 fans at McKethan Stadium. The loss drops No. 20 Florida to 5-7 on the season while No. 13 Florida State improves to 4-5 overall.
The two teams split the four-game series at 2-2.
The three-hour and 59-minute game saw 15 pitchers, 29 hits, 24 runs scored, four errors, five lead changes, five ties and two ejections. Florida State head coach Mike Martin and second baseman Bryan Zech were ejected in the top of the seventh inning.
Florida battled back from a 13-5 deficit with six runs in the bottom of the ninth. The Gators pulled to within two runs at 13-11 with two runners on first and third and two outs. Ryan Shealy launched a shot to deep centerfield but it was caught by FSU centerfielder Karl Jernigan at the fence to end the game.
With the game tied at 5-5, Florida State scored five runs to take a commanding 10-5 lead in the top of the sixth. Ryan Barthelemy hit a two-run home run, the Seminoles used two Gator errors, a balk and a Brett Groves RBI single to score its five runs. The Seminoles scored three more runs in the eighth to go up 13-5 on Scott Toole’s solo home run and Mike Futrell’s two-RBI double.
Gator starter Jay Belflower (1-2) took the loss. FSU starter Matt Lynch (1-1) earned the victory after pitching 5.0 innings and allowing seven hits, five runs (four earned) and striking out three batters.
Leading the Gators were Ben Harrison who went 2-5 with two runs, Ryan Shealy who went 2-5 and Brian Rose who finished 2-4 for the Gators. Kevin Estrada hit his first home run of the season and went 1-4 with three runs scored. The Gators used a total of eight pitchers, one shy of the school record for most pitchers used (nine).
Futrell and John-Ford Griffin each collected three hits apiece for the Seminoles.
Florida returns to action this Wednesday, February 25 at 7 p.m. against Jacksonville University at McKethan Stadium.