JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Down by a 1-0 score top-ranked Florida (23-2) tallied three runs with two outs in the sixth inning on a two-run triple by Casey Turgeon and an RBI single by Vickash Ramjit on its way to a 4-1 victory against No. 4 Florida State (21-4) on Tuesday night in front of 10,751 fans at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The Gator bullpen threw 5.1 scoreless innings to clinch the regular-season series between the Sunshine State rivals for the first time since 2009. The triumph was Florida’s first in Jacksonville since a 16-7 win against FSU on April 3, 2007.
Johnny Magliozzi (3-0) induced an inning-ending double play after the Seminoles loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and picked up the win, while Austin Maddox hurled a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save in as many chances. Ramjit (2-for-4) added an insurance RBI single in the eighth inning for the Gators.
Florida State began the scoring in the fourth inning against Florida’s Greg Larson on an RBI grounder by James Ramsey. Sherman Johnson had led off with a double down the right-field line and Devon Travis (2-for-4) followed with a bunt single for runners on the corners. Ramsey’s grounder to first base enabled Johnson to score the game’s opening run and Travis to occupy second base.
Jayce Boyd walked on four pitches and the Seminoles executed a double steal for two runners in scoring position. Larson struck out Stephen McGee and was replaced by Daniel Gibson, who had Seth Miller ground out to end the frame. In his fourth career start Larson gave up three hits and one run and matched his career high with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
In the bottom of the frame, Preston Tucker drew a one-out walk and Brian Johnson collected the Gators’ first hit off Scott Sitz with a two-out flare into left field. The right-hander had Taylor Gushue ground out to second base to kill the Gators threat.
Turgeon earned a free pass to start the inning but Sitz struck out Ramjit and got Cody Dent to fly out to left field. Although Boyd committed an error at first base on a ball hit by Nolan Fontana to extend the inning, Sitz had Daniel Pigott fly out to straightaway center field to end the inning.
The Seminoles loaded the bases with one down in the sixth but came away empty-handed. Johnson drew a four-pitch walk to begin the stanza before Travis flew out to center field. Ramsey legged out an infield single to second for a couple of Seminoles on base and a passed ball by Mike Zunino advanced the runners. Boyd was walked intentionally to load the bases and Gibson (1.2 IP, 1 H) was replaced by Magliozzi, who had McGee bounce into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Held scoreless through the first five innings, the Gators used a two-out, two-run triple by Turgeon and an RBI single by Ramjit to seize a 3-1 lead in the home part of the sixth. Zunino had a one-out single into left field, ending the night for Sitz, who gave up two hits, totaled five strikeouts and issued three walks over 5.1 innings.
Brian Busch got Johnson to fly out to center field and then Gushue drew a walk. Turgeon launched a ball to deep center field that grazed off the glove of a diving Ramsey and allowed both Zunino and Gushue to come across. Hunter Scantling took over for Busch (0-1) and surrendered an RBI single into right field by Ramjit that gave UF a two-run advantage.
Steven Rodriguez took the mound in the seventh and retired FSU in order. In the bottom of the frame, Pigott ripped a one-out triple off the wall in right-center field and the Seminoles brought in Bryant Holtmann for Scantling (0.2 IP, 2 H). Tucker walked on four pitches for runners on the corners and the lefty had Zunino ground out, pushing Tucker to second but leaving Pigott on third. Holtmann worked out of the jam by having Johnson fly out to left field.
In the eighth, Gushue drew a leadoff walk from Luke Weaver and moved into scoring position on a grounder by Turgeon. Ramjit provided the Gators with a 4-1 margin with a base-hit into right center field that brought home Gushue but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Rodriguez worked two scoreless frames, giving up just one hit, and had a couple of strikeouts. Pitching in his hometown, Maddox closed the game with back-to-back strikeouts of McGee and Miller. UF held a 6-5 edge in hits, including a season-high two triples.