Florida swept the season series against in-state rival Florida State for the second time in three years and shutout the Seminoles for the first time since 1994, winning in Tallahassee on Tuesday in front of a hostile capacity crowd by a score of 8-0. Five pitchers combined for the shutout and allowed four hits, highlighted by starter Danny Young’s (4-0) season-best matching five innings of work.
Second baseman Casey Turgeon broke open a scoreless game in the fifth with a three-run shot to right field and the Gators never looked back, adding a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth. Florida’s (21-12) offense racked up 10 hits and will look to take its momentum into a weekend series with No. 5 South Carolina in Columbia. UF and South Carolina are tied atop the SEC East at 7-5.
Florida State (26-6) threatened in the first and third, getting a runner as far as the hot corner in both innings. Young forced a ground out in the first and struck out FSU’s John Nogowski in the third to end the threats. The Gators put a four-spot on the board in the fifth. Turgeon hit a three-run deep fly to right for his third home run of the season.
First baseman Zack Powers led off the Florida fifth with a single and designated hitter Peter Alonso walked, which caused the Seminoles to replace starter Billy Strode (0-1) with Gage Smith. Powers was picked off at second, but left fielder Ryan Larson knocked a single to right to put runners at first and second. Third baseman John Sternagel continued his hot hitting and drove home Alonso with a single to left, advancing Larson to third and himself to second on the throw to the plate. Turgeon cleared the bases with his third career three-run jack.
The Gators tacked on another run in the sixth off of reliever Peter Miller. Braden Mattson led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a wild pitch. Justin Shafer relieved Young to start the sixth and ran into trouble in the seventh when FSU put two men on with one out. Bobby Poyner got the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice, but FSU loaded the bases following a walk. Aaron Rhodes entered the pressure situation and forced a ground out to the right side for the final out.
Florida added three insurance runs in the eighth. Catcher Taylor Gushue led off with a double and Mattson walked. Buddy Reed laid down a perfect bunt down the third baseline and the throw to first was off target, scoring Gushue and moving both Mattson and Reed up two bases. Alonso reached immediately after on an error by the shortstop, which loaded the bases. Mattson came around to score on a wild pitch and Turgeon drove in Alonso when he ducked under the tag going into first. Karsten Whitson forced a 5-4 double play in the ninth and struck out the final batter to cement the Gator win.