The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Gators roll past Florida State, 14-8

1732 days ago
Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Former major leaguer and longtime announcer Joe Garagiola once wrote a book titled "Baseball Is a Funny Game."

The 89-year-old Garagiola finally retired two years ago, but no doubt he would appreciate Florida's 14-8 victory over Florida State on Tuesday night.

It was a funny, weird, entertaining and long game.

"They are not all going to be 2-1 ballgames,'' Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan said.

This one was five minutes shy of four hours on a perfect night for baseball before an announced crowd of 5,827 at McKethan Stadium, the fifth-largest home crowd in school history.

The folks who stayed until the end when Florida reliever Logan Browning -- the 13th pitcher of the game, seventh for the Gators -- struck out Florida State's Steven Wells Jr. to put the victory to bed at 10:56 p.m. got their money's worth.

The teams combined for 22 runs, 25 hits and 356 total pitches.

That's a lot of baseball.

The No. 3-ranked Gators (19-3) won their fifth in a row over the No. 11 Seminoles (17-5) and finished their 10-game homestand 9-1.

Some of the highlights and lowlights from Tuesday's game:

-- One of the biggest ovations came when Albert (Florida's mascot) caught a foul ball in the bottom of the seventh.

-- Bader had back-to-back bat flips, one on a long foul ball and another on an RBI sacrifice fly, to rev up the Gators and irritate the Seminoles in the fifth inning.

-- FSU committed five errors, three on third baseman Dylan Busby.

-- A cloud of smoke hovered over the field for a couple of the early innings before the wind finally cleared it, blocking out the sunshine in this rivalry known as the Sunshine Showdown.

-- Gators shortstop Richie Martin stole home in the fourth inning to put Florida up 7-5.

-- Florida State pulled off a double steal in the fifth inning with Busby stealing home a half inning after Martin pulled off the rare feat.

-- The two starting pitchers, Florida's Eric Hanhold (35) and Florida State's Alex Byrd (36) combined for 71 pitches in the first inning.

By now you get the idea that Tuesday's game was a little different.

"It was a frustrating game I'm sure to watch from the fans' perspective because every time each team scored the other team went back out and gave it back up,'' O'Sullivan said. "It's just one of those nights."

While O'Sullivan left for home concerned about finding the proper roles for some of his pitchers, he was pleased his team played error-free and banged out 16 hits against an FSU team that had won 13 of its last 14 games.

Florida finally regained the momentum for good in the bottom of the fifth after Florida State rallied from a four-run deficit to tie the game 7-7 in the top of the inning.

Ryan Larson's RBI single put the Gators up 8-7, Martin picked up an RBI on hard hit ball to third that Busby misplayed, and then Bader's memorable at-bat ended with a deep fly ball to right-center that scored Dalton Guthrie to make it 10-7.

Bader went 1-for-3 with three RBIs as every Gator starter had a hit.

"Even though it might have seemed grueling at times, you've just got to stay focused,'' Bader said. "A win against Florida State is always good."