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3 up, 3 down: No. 2 UF continues dominance on the diamond against No. 7 FSU

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Florida State still hasn’t won a regular season game in Gainesville since 2013.

NCAA Baseball: Troy at Florida State Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

With Tuesday night’s 12-6 loss, Florida State has now lost 12 of their last 13 games played against UF and have not won in Gainesville since 2013. The Seminoles showed promise early, but the game was out of out of hand at the halfway point.

Three up:

  • Florida State’s offense had been held in check by Florida over the past two seasons. The ’Noles have scored two runs or less in seven of the nine games played over that span — including four shutouts. But, with some early power on Tuesday, the ’Noles — holding a 4-1 third-inning lead — were in position to end that losing streak. Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t last and the FSU bats struggled for the remainder of the game.
  • A power surge happened early in Gainesville, FSU bats entered tonight’s game with only 7 home runs as a team. After two quick outs in the first, back-to-back home-runs by Rhett Aplin and Cal Raleigh gave FSU an early 2-0 lead. Aplin would strike again in the third inning with a two-run HR. Drew Mendoza added a solo shot of his own in the 8th inning and was a triple shy of the cycle. Of Florida State’s eight hits on the night, seven went for extra bases.
  • Clayton Kwiatkowski, after being called on to stop the bleeding for the ’Noles when the score was 11-4, did a solid job out of the bullpen. He retired the only four batters he faced and was the only Seminole pitcher to keep the Gators off the board on Tuesday night.

Three down:

  • Andrew Karp wasn’t his normal sharp self. After being staked to an early lead, he allowed a HR in the second and was hit hard throughout his outing. The right hander didn’t record his first strikeout until the fourth inning and finished the night with only K’s (entered the game with 27 in only 17.1 innings pitched). He really got himself into further trouble in the fifth inning when he loaded the bases with zero outs. A sacrifice fly tied it at four, but he hit the next batter which again loaded the bases and ended his night.
  • With a three-run lead entering the third inning, the ’Noles poor defense reared its ugly head. A single by UF to lead off the inning was followed by a bumbled play at first base by Aplin, and the Gators had two runners on with no outs. Later in the inning, a double-play ball was hit directly to third, but Mendoza wasn’t able to field it and the ball rolled into left field allowing a run to score. Now runners were on 1st and 2nd, but Karp paid little or no attention to them, and they easily moved up a base on a double-steal. While it would not have been an easy play, Karp was unable to field a ball that was hit directly at him by the next batter, so instead of holding a runner at third, his only play was to first, allowing another run to score. None of these mistakes showed up in the box score (generous official scoring in favor of UF’s hitters), but they’re mistakes you cannot make when facing the best team in the country.
  • Mike Martin mismanaged the pitching staff terribly in the fifth inning. It was evident to anyone watching this game that Karp was not on his game tonight, and he started off the frame by allowing a double. His day should have been done at that point, but he was allowed to stay before being pulled with the bases loaded and no outs. The one right move was going to the young stud, Jonah Scolaro, who has excelled in high-leverage situations this season. He wasn’t able to work the magic he had earlier in the season, though, as he allowed run on a fielder’s choice and two runs on an opposite field bloop double. The one-run FSU lead was now a two-run deficit. With two outs and two runners on, Martin then turned to Gage Hutchison, who has struggled mightily in this season. This was inexplicable with at least four arms in the bullpen better than the righty, and he promptly allowed a two-run double and an RBI single giving the Gators a six run lead and effectively putting the game out of reach.

Florida State will host Notre Dame this weekend.