Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the eighth time in a row, and the 13th in the last 14 games, the Florida State Seminoles fell to the Florida Gators.
The No. 1 Gators (29-6) defeated the No. 10 Seminoles (24-10) 6-3 in Tallahassee on Tuesday.
“We made a couple of mistakes, and they were taken advantage of,” coach Mike Martin said.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd off a Cooper Swanson home run, the Seminoles committed 2 errors in the 4th inning to help UF get ahead. Florida third baseman Jonathan India stole second, and advanced to third when FSU catcher Cal Raleigh threw the ball wide of shortstop Mike Salvatore. From there, India scored on a double from Wil Dalton. Two batters later, Austin Langworthy singled to left to score Dalton, and advanced to second when Raleigh couldn’t field the throw coming in from the outfield. Langworthy would then score on a Blake Reese single.
The Seminoles offense battled, but every run they scored was quickly answered in the very next inning by Florida. In the 5th inning, FSU second baseman Nick Derr scored on a Mike Salvatore sacrifice groundout to pull the Seminoles within a run. The Gators answered with 2 more runs in the next inning to push the score to 5-2.
Seminole left fielder Jackson Lueck hit a solo home run to right-center field in the 7th. The very next inning Gator catcher JJ Schwarz answered with a home run of his own. Schwarz has gone 22-for-65 (.369) for 8 home runs and 25 RBI in his career vs FSU.
The Seminoles had a lot of chances to capitalize on offense. They loaded the bases in the 6th inning, but Swanson grounded out in front of the catcher before anything could get started.
This marks the eighth time in a row that FSU has fallen to UF. The last time FSU beat UF was in the 2016 super regionals in Gainesville. This is the second year in a row that the Gators have swept the three-game “Sunshine Showdown” series.
“I wish I could explain a little bit of my frustration,” coach Martin said. “But we still have 22 games left in the regular season. And he hope we can continue to get better every day.”
The Seminoles return to the field for a 3-game weekend series vs. Duke, starting Friday at 6 p.m.