A six-run fourth inning propelled the No. 12 Florida Gators past the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee on Tuesday night. The Gators swept the three-game season series over FSU with a 10-7 win.
Florida got off to a shaky start. FSU shortstop Taylor Walls led the game off with a solo home run to right field, the first leadoff home run for a Seminole players since 2012. Freshman starter Tyler Dyson walked the next batter before recording two outs but gave up the second run of the game when Drew Mendoza doubled home Tyler Daughtry, who walked earlier.
After going down in order on eight pitches in the first inning the Gators’ bats came alive in the second.
Mike Rivera was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball after Nelson Maldonado flied out to right field. Jonathan India and Austin Langworthy walked to load the bases for Ryan Larson, who came into the game after a red-hot hitting weekend. Larson singled through the left side to plate India ad keep the bases loaded. Christian Hicks singled through the right side, plating Langworthy and India giving Florida a 3-2 lead. Deacon Liput grounded out to second, but it was enough to score Larson from third, a 4-2 lead.
Florida State got a run back in the second when Dyson couldn’t handle a comebacker allowing J.C. Flowers to score. The Noles tied the game in the fourth. Nieporte doubled to start the frame and scored two batters later when Cal Raleigh singled through the right side.
The tie wouldn’t last long as Florida would send the entire lineup to the plate and then some in its half of the fourth.
Langworthy singled and moved to third on Ryan Larson’s double. Both scored when Christian Hicks doubled to left field. Hicks moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Deacon Liput sacrifice fly. Dalton Guthrie popped out but Florida wasn’t ready to go out even with two outs. JJ Schwarz doubled before Rivera and Maldonado walked to load the bases. Jonathan India cleared the bases and blew the game wide open with a double to center field.
Florida State added a run in the bottom of the fourth and looked like they could challenge Florida’s big lead. Nick Horvath entered the frame with the bases loaded and no outs, replacing rank Rubio on the mound, but struck out the next three batters to keep the lead at 10-5.
Horvath stayed in the game, throwing a career-high 3.1 scoreless innings of work. Austin Langworthy replaced Horvath in the seventh with two runners on and one out. The freshman, who made his return to the lineup after recovering from a broken hamate bone, got a 6-4-3, inning ending double play. Langworthy pitched into the ninth inning. He gave up two runs in the final frame but was able to get Raleigh to hold on to a 10-7 victory.
Florida has beaten Florida State in 15 of their last 18 meetings.
Florida will have a quick turn around before a pivotal conference series against Vanderbilt. The Gators will get back into Gainesville early Wednesday morning and bus to Jacksonville Wednesday afternoon to fly to Nashville. The Gators and ‘Dores will play a three-game series starting Thursday.