The Florida Gators dominance over Florida State continued on the road in Tallahassee on Tuesday. The Gators won their eighth consecutive game (a school record) over the Noles 6-3 and have now won 13 of the last 14 meetings in the rivalry.
Florida’s recent dominance over the Noles is unprecedented, leaving Mike Martin a little dumbfounded.
“I wish I could explain, a little bit, my frustration,” Martin told the Tallahassee Democrat. It’s there. It’s evident. But we still have 22 games left in the regular season. We just made some mistakes tonight that were not awful, but when you get beat by a team that’s beaten you like they have us, I guess it just expands the mistakes a bit.”
Florida State committed three errors, including two in a three-run fourth inning for the Gators.
The Noles scored first off of freshman starter Tommy Mace when Cooper Swanson led the third inning off with a solo home run to left field. The Gators responded in the next half inning, a theme for the night.
Jonathan India singled with one out, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games. India stole second and advanced to third when Cal Raleigh’s throw sailed into center field. Wil Dalton’s double tied the game and Dalton scored two batters later when Austin Langworthy singled to left field. Another error allowed Langworthy to move to second, which proved costly when he came around to score on Blake Reese’s single, making it a 3-1 Florida advantage.
The Noles trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the fifth but the Gators’ offense went back to work in the very next frame.
India was the catalyst again. The junior was hit by a pitch on the wrist and was checked by trainers before taking his base and staying in the game. Dalton drew a walk and JJ Schwarz drove India home with a single. Dalton scored and Schwarz moved to third when Langworthy doubled to make the score 5-2.
Florida State scored again in the seventh but JJ Schwarz hit a solo home run in the eighth inning. Schwarz has been a Nole killer during his four-year career. Schwarz is hitting .369 (24-65) with eight home runs and 25 RBI.
“Every time they scored we were fortunate enough to score and kind of grab the momentum back,” manager Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game. “I’ve been here enough to know when the momentum kind of shifts to their dugout, sometimes it’s hard to get back. Answering back was the story of the game. We just kept putting pressure on them.”
Michael Byrne came on to finish the last four outs of the game, earning his eighth save of the season.
Florida will host Missouri this weekend at home for a three-game series with the Tigers beginning Friday at 6:30. Saturday’s game is at five and the Sunday finale is at 1.