Seminoles Pass First Test of the Season
Posted by BillFromTampa
Florida State got all the runs they needed in the third inning and then got stellar pitching from Daniel Bennett and Mike McGee to hold off #1 Florida 5-3.
The Seminoles got their first hit of the game in the top of the third inning when Justin Gonzalez lined a single to center. Devon Travis the smacked a ground ball just inside the third base line for a double.
After Sherman Johnson popped out, McGee walked to load the bases.
That was enough for Kevin O’Sullivan pulling starter Tommy Toledo who was having accuracy problems with his pitches bringing in lefty Alex Panteliodis.
James Ramsey welcomed him to the mound by hitting a hard ground ball that ricochet off Panteliodis’ ankle and caromed into foul territory on the first base side. 1B Brian Johnson flipped the ball to Panteliodis trying to cover first but could not handle the toss. Ramsey was safe moving to second on the error scoring Gonzalez and Travis.
The next batter, Jayce Boyd, cranked a long fly ball all the way to the left field wall that would have been out of the park had a strong wind not been blowing into the infield. Instead it was a triple bringing in McGee and Ramsey.
Tapley had a two out RBI single scoring Boyd before Seth Miller struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Gators plated a run in the bottom of the same inning on an RBI single by Preston Tucker scoring Zack Power.
A definite pitcher’s duel for most of the game, Gonzalez’ single up the middle to start the fourth inning was the last hit FSU would get until Johnson looped a one out single into right field in the top of the ninth.
Scott Sitz (2-0) who had done a tremendous job keeping the potent Gator lineup in check was relieved in the bottom of the sixth by Sean Gilmartin.
It was not a good outing for Gilmartin who struggled to find the plate. Two runners were on base before Gilmartin got his first out. A not so routine pop up behind first base could not be handled by Travis.
The error is not a total loss however as Austin Maddox is thrown out at second.
But runners were at the corners and a line drive single to center by Kamm Washington scored Tucker. Daniel Pigott’s single up the middle brought in Mike Zunino to close the score to 5-3.
Gilmartin got out of the inning on three strikes to Powers.
Bennett came in to start the bottom of the seventh and eighth and sent down all six batters he faced never letting a ball leave the infield along with one strike out.
In the top of the ninth Johnson steals second after his one out single.
After Ramsey was hit by a pitch, righty Greg Larson was brought in and retired the side with FSU unable to get any insurance runs.
It turned out those runs were not needed especially when you have a Mike McGee to bring on to the mound.
With little warm up, McGee sat down the Gators in order to preserve the win. Washington got caught looking, Pigott struck out swinging on a high breaking ball, and Powers watched a low inside pitch go by.
The ‘Noles picked up just six hits while leaving seven runners on base.
FSU got some defensive help in holding Florida to just seven hits leaving six on base. Miller made a diving catch in the third off a Maddox line drive to left and McGee dove head first in short center field to snag the fly ball from Powers to start the fifth inning.
With the win Florida State improves to 8-0 coming against its first quality test of the season and ends the Gators’ best start to a season since 2002.
The Seminoles will travel, to Athens, GA to take on the Bulldogs starting Friday with the first pitch schedule for 6:30 PM.