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Florida swept No. 1 FSU for the first second time in three years. Gators are now 6-0 against top-5 teams this season.

Tuesday April 8, 2014Gators Complete Season Sweep of No. 1 Florida State; Shut Out Seminoles for First Time Since 1994

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida swept No. 1 FSU for the first second time in three years. Gators are now 6-0 against top-5 teams this season.

No. 25 Florida swept the season series over in-state rival No. 1 Florida State for the second time in three years and shutout the Seminoles for the first time since 1994, winning in Tallahassee on Tuesday in front of a hostile capacity crowd by a score of 8-0. Five pitchers combined for the shutout and allowed four hits, highlighted by starter Danny Young’s (4-0) season-best matching five innings of work.


Second baseman Casey Turgeon broke open a scoreless game in the fifth with a three-run shot to right field and the Gators never looked back, adding a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth. Florida’s (21-12) offense racked up 10 hits and will look to take its momentum into a weekend series with No. 5 South Carolina in Columbia. UF and South Carolina are tied atop the SEC East at 7-5.


FSU (26-6) threatened in the first and third, getting a runner as far as the hot corner in both innings. Young forced a ground out in the first and struck out FSU’s John Nogowski in the third to end the threats. The Gators put a four-spot on the board in the fifth. Turgeon hit a three-run deep fly to right for his third home run of the season.


First baseman Zack Powers led off the Florida fifth with a single and designated hitter Peter Alonso walked, which caused the Seminoles to replace starter Billy Strode (0-1) with Gage Smith. Powers was picked off at second, but left fielder Ryan Larson knocked a single to right to put runners at first and second. Third baseman John Sternagel continued his hot hitting and drove home Alonso with a single to left, advancing Larson to third and himself to second on the throw to the plate. Turgeon cleared the bases with his third career three-run jack.


The Gators tacked on another run in the sixth off of reliever Peter Miller. Braden Mattson led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a wild pitch. Justin Shafer relieved Young to start the sixth and ran into trouble in the seventh when FSU put two men on with one out. Bobby Poyner got the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice, but FSU loaded the bases following a walk. Aaron Rhodes entered the pressure situation and forced a ground out to the right side for the final out.


The Orange and Blue added three insurance runs in the eighth. Catcher Taylor Gushue led off with a double and Mattson walked. Buddy Reed laid down a perfect bunt down the third baseline and the throw to first was off target, scoring Gushue and moving both Mattson and Reed up two bases. Alonso reached immediately after on an error by the shortstop, which loaded the bases. Mattson came around to score on a wild pitch and Turgeon drove in Alonso when he ducked under the tag going into first. Karsten Whitson forced a 5-4 double play in the ninth and struck out the final batter to cement the Gator win.


Postgame Quotes:

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

“I’m just proud of our team and the way we played tonight after having a tough weekend in Kentucky. To give up 36 runs and 50 hits was tough. It was as tough a weekend as we had, pitching wise, in a long, long time. To come out here and shut out a Florida State team that is very good is a heck of an accomplishment.”


“The biggest at bat other than Casey’s swing on the three-run homer was Ryan Larson’s at bat. He extended the inning there. Once we got picked, I don’t know if the momentum changed, but Ryan getting that hit to the right side was big and Sternegal came up with a big hit to left center, which gave us a chance to get Casey to the plate.”


Starting Pitcher Danny Young

“It seems like every time I go out there my defense makes plays. I somehow make a couple of pitches. Scoring first is always good. It’s always an advantage to have a scoring cushion. I love playing in places like this. Everyone is into it and it’s a fun atmosphere.”


Second Baseman Casey Turgeon

“I knew how big that wall is out there. I got under it pretty good. I didn’t know if it was gone or not, but it ended up being to deep to get out. I was happy it did.”


Florida Leaders:

·         Danny Young matched his career best with five strikeouts and tied his season best with five innings pitched.

·         Young has not allowed a run in 10 straight appearances, a streak that includes 15 innings. In 11.2 innings pitched against Florida State this year, Young has not permitted a run. 

·         Casey Turgeon’s fifth inning home run was his third of the season and third career three-run home run. The second baseman has 12 career home runs.

·         Turgeon matched his career best with four RBI and has recorded four multiple-RBI games this season.

·         Richie Martin stole his eighth base of the season when he took second in the fourth.

·         Taylor Gushue led off the eighth with his team-leading 11th double of the year. Gushue extended his hit streak with seven games with the base knock.


Series Nuggets:

·         The Gators have claimed the last four meetings and seven of the last nine between the Sunshine State rivals.

·         The Gators shutout of FSU was the program’s first since March 3, 1994 in Gainesville. Florida last shut out FSU in Tallahassee on April 11, 1989.

·         The eight-run victory was Florida’s largest over the Seminoles since the Orange and Blue left Tallahassee with a 10-2 win on April 14, 2009.

·         Florida State holds a 125-104-1 advantage in the all-time series, while the Seminoles enjoy a 68-41-1 edge in Tallahassee.

·         Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is 12-13 against Florida State, 6-1 in Gainesville, 4-4 in Tallahassee and 2-8 at neutral sites.


Gators by the Numbers: 

·         The Orange and Blue is 8-4 against top-25 opponents, including a perfect 6-0 against top-5 competition this spring.

·         Florida has attributed for half of Florida State’s losses this season.

·         UF has claimed 15 of its last 21 contests and boasts a 6-6 record away from Gainesville (4-6 in true road games, 2-0 at neutral sites).

·         The duo of Richie Martin (SS) and Casey Turgeon (2B) has started all 33 games at their respective positions. Taylor Gushue has started all 33 games this year with 26 coming at catcher and seven at designated hitter.

·         Florida has hit three-run home runs in consecutive games. Alonso went deep in the eighth inning on April 6, at Kentucky.


Road Tripping: Tonight’s contest was the fourth of an eight-game road trip for the Gators. Florida is 2-2 after the first four games. The Gators will start a three-game series against South Carolina on Friday before a midweek contest at Florida Gulf Coast.


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