Florida State edges UF baseball in Jacksonville
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 9:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 9:24 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — Florida State scored single runs in its first and last at-bats and used another strong outing by starting pitcher Luke Weaver to post a 2-1 win over Florida on Tuesday night in front of 9,269 chilly fans at the Baseball Grounds.
Who: No. 11 Mississippi (21-4, 3-3 SEC) at Florida (11-15, 2-4 SEC)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: McKethan Stadium
On Radio: Gator Radio Network
It was the Gators' second loss to the Seminoles in two weeks after FSU won a 4-1 game in Gainesville on March 12.
Four Florida pitchers threw well enough for the Gators to win the game. But a costly balk call on reliever Danny Young helped lead to Florida State (23-2, No. 6 in Baseball America's poll) pushing across the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"It seems like every mistake we make costs us a run. A run here, a run there and we end up with a loss,” lamented Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "We're not a team that can score eight, nine runs in a game, so we can't afford to be giving up those kind of runs."
Florida State's Jose Brizuela led off the eighth with a double down the rightfield line off Gators reliever Danny Young. Several pitches later, Brizuela was awarded third when Young was called for a balk. Sullivan then brought in reliever Ryan Harris who forced a groundout to first for the drawn-in Gators infield. Harris was then replaced by Daniel Gibson who struck out Seth Miller for the second out.
But the next batter, Giovanny Alfonzo, sent a sharp grounder up the middle that Florida shortstop Casey Turgeon made a diving stop of, but his throw pulled first baseman Vickash Ramjit off the base, allowing Brizuela to score the winning run.
Young (0-2) took the loss despite a strong outing in which he allowed just two hits, a pair of walks and the one run while striking out five in four innings of work for Florida (11-15).
"I was pleased with my effort, but I kind of gave it away there (in the eighth inning)," the freshman left-hander said. "He (Brizuela) hit a fastball there for the double."
The two teams traded single runs in the first two innings. Florida State's first three batters all reached base and eventually scored when starting pitcher Tucker Simpson issued a two-out walk.
The Gators countered in the top of the second inning when Zack Powers belted a two-out double off the rightfield wall and came home on a single to center by Connor Mitchell.
After that, it turned into a pitchers' duel with neither team collecting a hit until Florida State's Marcus Davis singled in the seventh. Florida bunched all three of its hits in the game in the second inning off Weaver, who also allowed one run and three hits in six innings in the first FSU-UF game. The Gators had just three baserunners the final seven innings, those coming on a pair of walks and an FSU error.
It was the eighth time in Florida's last nine games that the Gators played a team ranked in the top 10 nationally. The Gators are now 2-6 in those contests against three quality teams — Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida State. It doesn't get any easier for the Gators, who will host No. 11 Mississippi in a three-game series this weekend.