The No. 25 Florida Gators (21-12, 7-5 SEC) capped off the season sweep of No. 1 Florida State (26-6, 13-2 ACC) with an 8-0 win Tuesday night in Tallahassee. Danny Young earned the start — his second against the Noles — and hurled five shutout innings. Young threw 11.2 innings of scoreless baseball against Florida State on the season.
Florida State threatened early but the first four innings went by without either team crossing the plate.
Florida changed that in the top of the fifth, exploding for four runs off of Seminole starter Billy Strode and reliever Gage Smith. Zack Powers started the inning off by ripping a single back up the middle and was followed by a Pete Alonso walk. Danny De La Calle would pick off Powers when Ryan Larson pulled back on a bunt for the first out of the inning. Larson picked up his teammate with a single through the right side. Freshman John Sternagel singled into left field to score Alonso. Ryan Larson and Sternagel moved to third and second on the throw in from the outfield.
Leadoff hitter Casey Turgeon stepped up to the plate with one out and two runners in scoring position. Florida State reliever Gage Smith toed the rubber, not having allowed a homerun all season. Turgeon made sure Smith wouldn’t be able to say that on Wednesday, launching a 1-0 fastball high and over the wall in right field to extend Florida’s lead to 4-0.
“The biggest at bat other than Casey’s swing on the three-run homer was Ryan Larson’s at bat,” said Kevin O’Sullivan. “He extended the inning there. Once we got picked, I don’t know if the momentum changed, but Ryan getting that hit to the right side was big and Sternegal came up with a big hit to left center, which gave us a chance to get Casey to the plate.”
Florida tacked on a run in the sixth inning when Braden Mattson led off the single with a base knock and later came around to score. Three more runs were pushed across the plate thanks to a pair of errors from Florida State but the insurance runs were not needed on this night.
Karsten Whitson came in to close the game out in the ninth inning and even though he allowed the first two batters to reach base, worked out of the inning and kept Florida’s first shutout of Florida State since 1994 alive.
“I’m just proud of our team and the way we played tonight after having a tough weekend in Kentucky,” O’Sullivan said. “To give up 36 runs and 50 hits was tough. It was as tough a weekend as we had, pitching wise, in a long, long time. To come out here and shut out a Florida State team that is very good is a heck of an accomplishment.”
- Florida has won four-straight and 7-of-9 against FSU.
- Danny Young earned his fourth win of the season and has not allowed a run in 10-consecutive appearances.
- Florida’s last shutout of FSU was in 1984 but this was their first shutout in Tallahassee since 1989.
- The win over Florida State extended Florida’s record against top-5 opponents to a perfect 6-0.
- Florida State has lost just six times this season; half of those are to Florida.
- Richie Martin and Casey Turgeon have started all 33 games this season at shortstop and second base. Taylor Gushue has started every game with 26 starts at catchers and seven as designated hitter.
- Florida will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks this weekend.