Florida State’s (3) Drew Faurot celebrates after sliding safe into second in the top of the third against the Florida Gators at Condron Ballpark on Tuesday. Florida State defeated Florida 12-8. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Florida State Baseball Stomps Florida 19-4 To Complete Sweep

It seems that these two rivals have flipped roles from where they were a year ago.

For a Gator fan, this was flat out ugly to watch.

A team that finished a few runs short of a national championship in 2023, finds itself in search of an identity after a massacre by its biggest rival in consecutive meetings in 2024 being outscored 45-15 in the three-game series sweep after Tuesday’s 19-4 thrashing in seven innings.

For a Seminole fan, this couldn’t feel any sweeter.

A redemption story worth watching as a squad which missed the postseason in 2023 for the first time since 1977, now sits top-10 in the country with favorable odds to host a NCAA regional tournament come late May.

Tuesday night’s game summed it up for both teams.

 

After the Gators dropped the first two games against the Seminoles by a combined 26-11 score, Florida faced its hardest test on the road in Tallahassee looking to fend off a sweep. 

No. 10 Florida State had other plans against No. 24 Florida, dominating with five home runs completing consecutive run-rules against the Gators to move to 27-5 on the season while Florida falls to 17-15.

After FSU took its first series win over Florida since 2015, the ‘Noles were hungry for more securing its first regular-season sweep of Florida since 2000.

False Hope

Five pitches into the game, Florida took a 2-0 lead, compliments of back-to-back homers from Cade Kurland (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and Jac Caglianone (2-for-3, 1 RBI) firing up the Florida dugout.

Nonetheless, that’s the story of the season thus far for the Gators, as the ugly side of the story emerged soon after.

Early Exit Sparks Struggle

The bottom of the first inning opened a can for the rest of the night, starting with an unnecessarily long umpire review of an overturned call of a runner being out at first on a groundball.

Right-handed starter Ryan Slater was victim of consecutive squeaking base hits to energize the ‘Noles.

Five hits and five runs later, including a routine groundball booted by Caglianone at first base got Slater yanked off the mound 20 pitches into the night as FSU went up 5-2. 

Slater was handed his first loss of the season (2-1), igniting the carousel of five other pitchers as he finished with six runs (five earned) on five hits.

Junior Fisher Jameson came in to clean up for the Gators, but it took a total 31 pitches in the inning before the first out was recorded. Jameson got three outs in the next four batters, but FSU added another run making it 6-2.

Ty Evans led off the second with a base hit, followed by a Dale Thomas hit by pitch forcing a pitching change by the Seminoles to bring in reliever Andrew Armstrong for starter John Abraham, who surrendered three runs on three hits in 23 pitches. 

A fielder’s choice groundout by Michael Robertson got a run across to cut the deficit for Florida 6-3.

After giving up a single to his first batter, Armstrong retired nine in a row to fend off any rally from the Gators for three straight innings and picking up the win (4-0).

When it Rains, it Pours

FSU collected its seventh run on its seventh hit in the second inning, with a lead off solo shot by Golden Spikes watch list and NCAA RBI leader James Tibbs III (2-for-4, 2 RBI) making it 7-3.

 

Alex Philpott took over for Jameson and got demolished as well.

Daniel Cantu (2-for-4, 3 RBI) took a fastball right down broadway for a mammoth three-run homer to extend FSU’s lead to 10-3 (10 runs on 10 hits). 

A liner up the middle then catches Philpott off balance for an RBI single for an 11-3 lead for FSU batting around the order.

The beating for Florida didn’t stop there with five more innings still to be played.

In the third inning, catcher Jackson West got in on the party for FSU, knocking his first homer of the season to put the ‘Noles up 12-3. Philpott turned the ball over to lefty Robert Satin in the fourth inning. 

The wheels officially fell off for Florida when Satin faced three batters, giving up three free bases to let the ‘Noles put the run-rule into effect up 13-3 with no outs.

The breaking point for Florida came a few pitches later, however, when Marco Dinges put a dent in the scoreboard with a grand slam to right field, pouring it on for the Seminoles up 17-3.

Alex Lodise continued the onslaught in the fifth inning with a two-run homer for the ‘Noles fifth homer of the game up 19-3. 

Kurland worked a bases loaded walk to scratch a measly run across 19-4 in the sixth. That’s the last threat UF would pose as it was blanked the rest of the way being routed in football-scoring fashion by the Seminoles. 

Up Next

The Gators are back at home Friday for another conference matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks (23-10).

Game 1 is set for 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network+, ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF, WJXL 1010-AM Jacksonville) in Family Condron Ballpark.

About Jesse Simmons

Check Also

College World Series: Florida Faces Familiar Foe In Opener

Amidst the doubt and outside noise, the Florida Gators, have found themselves back in Omaha, …