Tuesday April 19, 2005Gator Baseball Falls to No. 14 FSU, 4-2
Senior Gibbs Chapman snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the fifth inning to lift No. 14 Florida State to a 4-2 victory over No. 5 Florida in front of 5.045 fans at Dick Howser Stadium on Tuesday night. Chapman (2-for-4) also belted a solo homer in the first inning to help the Seminoles (34-11) avenge a 9-2 loss to the Gators (27-10) on March 30.
Freshman Ryne Jernigan provided FSU some insurance run in the eighth with a two-out solo homer off junior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.). Sophomore Bryan Henry (3-2) allowed two runs on eight hits over a career-high 7.1 innings before sophomore Tyler Chambliss closed out the ninth to earn his 11th save.
In the top of the first, sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) drew a two-out walk from Henry, the first free pass issued by the right-hander in 20.2 innings. After taking second on a balk, Davis swiped his team-leading 17th stolen base in 20 attempts. However, Henry popped up sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) in foul territory to strand his teammate.
Chapman staked the Seminoles to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning by sending a 2-0 offering from freshman Tommy Wynn (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) over the fence in right. It was his team-leading sixth home run and came with two out.
FSU had a pair of runners in scoring position in the second stanza but Wynn worked out of the jam. Senior Daniel Wardell and sophomore Josh Spivey delivered consecutive one-out singles and moved over on a balk by the hurler. The right-hander struck out freshman Tony Thomas Jr. on a 3-2 pitch and then induced a ground ball from sophomore Shane Robinson that junior shortstop Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) scooped up and fired over to first.
The Gators tied the score in the third on a two-out double by Davis that plated junior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.). Barton had sliced a single into right field and sophomore Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) walked with two outs. Following an intentional walk to LaPorta that loaded the bases, Henry had sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) tap the next pitch to the first baseman for the third out.
Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) punched a one-out single into left center in the fifth and stole second with two out for his eighth theft of the year. Soon after, Henry sat down Davis for his fifth strikeout. In the bottom of the inning, Wynn walked Robinson on four pitches with one out and was replaced by senior Mike Pete (Brandon, Fla.). The rookie right-hander worked a career-high 4.1 innings, giving up four hits and two runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
On Pete’s second pitch, sophomore Ryne Malone pounded a double off the screen in right to give the Seminoles runners on second and third. Chapman followed with a ground-rule double that bounced over the center field wall to give Florida State a 3-1 lead. A wild pitch by Pete pushed Chapman to third and the southpaw struck out senior Aaron Cheeseman before being replaced by senior Connor Falkenbach (Parkland, Fla.). The sidearm specialist fanned junior pinch hitter Brandon Manasa to hold UF’s deficit at two runs.
LaPorta opened the sixth with an infield and freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a one-out chopper into left. Sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) grounded into a 4-6-3 double rally to snuff out a potential rally.
Tordi led off the seventh with his eighth double down the left-field line and Barton laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance his teammate to third. Henry retired Corsaletti on an infield fly and Dickey ripped an RBI single up the middle to narrow the gap to 3-2. During Davis’ at bat, Dickey was thrown out attempting to take second base.
Davis legged out a bunt to begin the eighth before LaPorta flew out deep to left field, ending Henry’s tenure on the mound. Davis moved into scoring position with his second stolen base of the night before junior Matt DiBlasi had Leclerc pop out to right, advancing Davis to third. Senior Kevin Lynch came out of the bullpen and had McArthur fly out to center to keep the hosts ahead.
With a league-best 10-5 mark, the Gators resume Southeastern Conference action on Friday when they meet No. 23 Auburn (25-14/8-7 SEC) in the opener of a three-game series. The contest from Plainsman Park will begin at 8 p.m. ET and air live in Gainesville on Cox Sports.