JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida (16-9) defeated No. 1 Florida State (19-5) 4-1 on Tuesday night in front of 10,125 fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville to secure the teams’ regular-season series. The Gators had upended the second-ranked Seminoles 3-1 in Gainesville last Tuesday night and will visit Tallahassee on April 8.
In his first start of the season, junior right-hander Justin Shafer fired four shutout innings, giving up two hits, with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Sophomore southpaw Danny Young (3-0) threw 3.2 scoreless frames and totaled four strikeouts to collect the victory, while junior right-hander Ryan Harris recorded the final four outs to collect his team-leading fourth save. The Seminoles avoided their first shutout loss to the Gators since March 3, 1994, with a leadoff homer in the ninth by junior Jose Brizuela.
Junior Braden Mattson (2-for-4) opened the scoring with a bases-loaded single in the first inning against senior Peter Miller (1-2). Junior Casey Turgeon and sophomore Richie Martin drew consecutive walks and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After junior Taylor Gushue was walked intentionally with one down, Mattson sliced a base-hit into right field. Miller prevented further damage with back-to-back strikeouts.
The Gators added two more runs in the sixth to build a 3-0 advantage. Mattson legged out an infield hit, went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Shafer’s bunt was thrown away by Miller (5.0 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K). Junior Zack Powers greeted senior Gage Smith was a sacrifice bunt that advanced Shafter to third and freshman John Sternagel (1-for-3, two RBI) delivered a fielder’s choice to drive in Shafer with the third run.
Sternagel provided UF with a 4-0 lead in the eighth by roping an RBI single up the middle off of sophomore Kenny Burkhead that plated Shafer. Shafer had led off with a single into right field and was sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by freshman Ryan Larson.