Florida Baseball a Winner over Top-Ranked Florida State
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sophomore Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI triple in the sixth inning and junior Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) closed the contest with three perfect innings as Florida (14-7) downed No. 1 Florida State (17-3), 3-1, on Tuesday night in front of a season-high 5,657 fans at McKethan Stadium. It was the Gators’ first triumph over a top-ranked team since a 6-3 decision over the Seminoles on April 10, 2012, in Tallahassee and head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club has claimed eight of its last nine outings.
Sophomore righty Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) (2-0) limited the high-powered FSU offense to one run over three innings and totaled four strikeouts to earn the win, junior Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) opened the scoring with his first homer of the year in the third and junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Although Florida State loaded the bases with none out in the third, sophomore starter Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) kept the game scoreless by retiring sophomore DJ Stewart (foul pop up), redshirt senior Brett Knief (strikeout) and junior John Nogowski (grounder). Young tossed three scoreless frames, with six hits and two strikeouts.
After making a strong defensive play to end the top of the third, Tobias led off with a homer into the left-field bleachers to begin the scoring. It was his first dinger since May 11, 2013, against Auburn. Junior Jose Brizuela (3-for-4) later tied the game in the sixth with a one-out solo shot to right field off of Rhodes.
In the bottom of the frame, the Gators countered with a pair of runs on an RBI triple by Bader and a sacrifice fly by Gushue to seize a 3-1 advantage. Sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) started things off with a double into the right-field corner and was sacrificed to third by junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.). Junior Bryant Holtmann replaced senior starter Peter Miller (1-1, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 5 K) and surrendered a first-pitch three-bagger to right field to Bader that brought home Martin. Gushue then followed with his team-leading sixth sac fly to right field to plate Bader.
After yielding a leadoff single to junior Danny De La Calle (2-for-4) in the seventh, Rhodes was replaced by Poyner, who retired the final nine Seminoles to collect his first career save.
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