No. 1 Florida will look to finish off a season sweep of No. 12 Florida State after winning meetings 12-6 and 1-0 earlier this season when the teams play at 6 p.m. today at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee.
The Gators (28-6) put up 22 runs at Tennessee on Saturday and continue to feature one of the most powerful lineups in the country. Florida has hit 52 home runs in 34 games, trailing only Kentucky (55), Arkansas (56) and Tennessee Tech (67). Third baseman Jonathan India (.429 batting average) and outfielder Wil Dalton have hit 12 homers apiece to lead the Gators, who have won seven straight and 12 of 13 against the Seminoles, including the last two in Tallahassee.
UF third baseman Jonathan India extended his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest hitting streak in 11 seasons under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, surpassing Mike Zunino’s 17-game streak in 2011.
The Seminoles (24-9) dropped six spots in D1Baseball rankings after losing the final two games to Georgia Tech over the weekend, including a 16-3 blowout Sunday. Florida State is led by third baseman Drew Mendoza (.336 batting average, 24 RBI), first baseman Rhett Aplin (.306, 17 RBI) and catcher Cal Raleigh (.302, 28 RBI).
The pitching matchup has FSU righty Andrew Karp (5-2, 3.07 ERA) facing UF right-hander Tommy Mace (2-0, 6.17).
Karp is making his sixth straight start against the Gators, starting every meeting over the past two seasons. In his most recent outing against Florida, March 27 in Jacksonville, Karp pitched his first career complete game, allowing one run on four hits while striking out seven in a game Florida won 1-0. It was the second time Karp has allowed just one run against Florida – he also allowed one run in seven innings in Gainesville while striking out 11 without walking a batter. Florida also won that game, 1-0.
Karp has pitched at least 7.0 innings in three consecutive starts (vs. UCF, Florida and Jacksonville). Karp’s five wins are one shy of teammate Cole Sands for the FSU and ACC lead.
A packed stadium is expected today, with former FSU quarterback and baseball player Jameis Winston throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Winston was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ACC Network Extra is streaming the game or catch the fellas on the UF baseball radio crew on 103.7-FM.