After a nearly four hour marathon of a game that featured 13 pictures and 22 runs, the No. 1 Florida Gators (19-3) defeated their instate rival No. 20 Florida State Seminoles 14-8 on Tuesday night in front of 5,287 fans (5th most all-time) at McKethan Stadium.
“It was a frustrating game, I’m sure, to watch from a fan’s perspective,” O’Sullivan said. “Every time each team scored, the other team went back and gave it back up. They’re not all going to be 2-1 ball games. This is just one of those nights.
Following a 14-game home stand the Noles came out swinging in Gainesville, posting two runs in the opening frame as starter Eric Hanhold struggled to throw strikes.
Like they did all weekend against Tennessee, the Gators responded quickly, never letting momentum swing too far away from them. Richie Martin — who was hit by a pitch — scored on a Harrison Bader triple and Josh Tobias’ single on the very next pitch tied the game at three. Tobias scored all the way from first on a Mike Rivera single and scored two batters later on a Jeremy Vasquez double.
The first inning saw a combined 71 pitches, seven hits, seven runs and an error and took 40 minutes.
That’s just how the night went, it was weird, it got heated at times — especially when the Florida State dugout took exception to Bader flipping his bat on a ball that cleared everything in left field, only to wind up foul. After getting an earful from the dugout and jawing back briefly, Bader sent his bat flying even further as he almost took one out to the opposite field, resulting in a sacrifice fly.
The game would go back and forth as both pitching staffs struggled to command the zone and the Seminoles struggled to field the ball cleanly, committing five errors — three by third baseman Dylan Busby.
“We were sloppy on the mound,” O’Sullivan said. “It was not one of our best efforts. I’ll kick myself tonight. I’ll be thinking about this game for a while because we’ve got to find the right roles for our pitchers. We’ve got to do a better job pitching ahead in counts. It’s a little surprising, to be honest with you, as poorly as we pitched tonight.”
The score was 11-7 in favor of Florida when JJ Schwarz launched a fly ball deep into the night and over the left field wall.
“It was actually a little close than I thought it would be,” Schwarz — who broke into a slow trot after hitting the ball — said. “I knew it would either be a home run or a sac-fly, so I didn’t have to run hard. And I didn’t”
Those three runs doubled up the score at 14-7 and, essentially, put the game on ice.
Freshman Logan Browning trotted out to the mound — the 13th different pitcher to do so on Tuesday — and closed the door with two strikeouts and a popup.
After a long meeting in the dugout, Bader walked over to the gathering of media members with a smile bigger than the Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A four-hour affair seemed like an adventure, at least of some kind. Bader fielded questions, the bruise on his left arm where he was plunked a few innings after his bat flip, starting to show the seams of the baseball.
“Those guys are working hard, and I know it’s just an off night for a couple guys,” Bader said of the pitching staff. “At the end of the day, our offense picked them up tonight. That’s the most important part.”
When the questions were done the junior outfielder turned to walk away , still smiling and soaking in Florida’s eighth win in their last 10 meetings with the Seminoles.
“Everybody get home safely,” he said. “[It was] A long night.”
- Nine of Florida’s 16 hits came from freshmen and every freshman in the starting lineup had a multi-hit game.
- The Gators have won five consecutive games against Florida State and 8-of-10.
- The Florida pitching staff combined for a season-high 12 strikeouts.
- JJ Schwarz extended his hitting streak to a career-long 10 games.
- Harrison Bader went 1-3, extending his own hitting streak to 11 games.
- All nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit in the game.