Gainesville, FL - The Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators went into tonight’s game with one win each in their head-to-head matchups. The two teams played even throughout the game catching each other on the scoreboard on separate occasions and staying tied all the way until the ninth inning. With two outs, the Gators would pull off the walk-off to win the game 7-5.
The FSU offense was unable to get anything going in the first inning with only a single by Jaime Ferrer. Freshman Jackson Baumeister allowed a homerun to dead center to Wyatt Langford on the first pitch he threw. He settled down to strikeout two Gators and not allow any other hits in the inning. FSU’s Brett Roberts stayed hot in the second with a leadoff double. He was driven in by James Tibbs’ homer to right field to give FSU a 2-1 lead. Brock Mathis walked and was able to score on a Logan Lacey double to left field.
Baumeister ran into trouble in the bottom of the frame allowing runners to reach second and third with just one out. Baum rebounded with two strikeouts to keep the Gators off the board. Ferrer and Reese Albert reached base in the third but a double play and strikeout ended the inning. Baumeister would not escape the third after allowing another homerun to Langford and allowing runners to reach second and third. Jonah Scolaro took the mound and unfortunately could not close the door. Scolaro allowed both runners to score on a single and then gave up a third run off a triple giving the Gators a 5-3 lead.
The Seminoles struck right back in the fourth, starting with a Mathis walk. After an Alex Toral strikeout, Lacey singled and Martin reached on a fielder’s choice that left runners at first and third with two outs. Florida’s Blake Burnell uncorked a wild pitch that scored Mathis and advanced Martin to second. Jordan Carrion answered the call against his former team with a RBI single to right to knot the game at 5.
On the mound, Scolaro bounced back from the rough third and dominated UF retiring 12 straight batters, seven by strikeout, until a two out walk in the seventh. Scolaro quickly erased the runner with a pick off. Davis Hare relieved Scolaro to start the eighth and hit a batter after recording the first out. After a steal and a strike out, FSU intentionally walked Jac Caglianone and Hare was able to strike out Ty Evans to send the game to the ninth. Martin would reach second in the ninth but Carrion’s slice to right was caught by UF. Hare stayed in to start the ninth and recorded the first two outs before allowing Langford to reach via single. Coach Mike Martin Jr turned to Andrew Armstrong to get the left on left matchup and guessed wrong. Sterlin Thompson drove a pitch over the right field fence to give the Gators a 7-5 walk-off win.
Scolaro’s career performance
Jonah would strikeout a career high seven Gators in his performance on the mound. In total, Scolaro’s line was 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He dominated from the fourth through the seventh innings and the Gators flailed often at his off-speed offerings.
The Logan Lacey of old
FSU’s veteran had been struggling through the month of May but had one of his best games of the year. Lacey was 3-4 at the plate and drove in a huge run in the second inning for the Seminoles. He also flashed the leather at third, showing range and a strong arm on the balls hit to him.
The inherited runs
As great as Scolaro was this evening, it was a rough start to his night. Scolaro entered in the third with runners at second and third with two outs and allowed both runs to score. If Scolaro had been able to escape that jam, it would have been a major blow to the UF momentum and put FSU in the driver’s seat their run scoring fourth.
FSU’s offense found some success with runners on base this game compared to the weekend but the Seminoles still continue to leave men on base. Overall, the ‘Noles were 2-9 with runners in scoring position and only 4-17 with runners on base.
Martin makes the move
With two outs and one runner on base in the ninth, Martin made the decision to go from his veteran Hare to sophomore Andrew Armstrong. The decision paid off... for the Gators as Armstrong allowed the only batter he faced to crush a homerun over the right field everything. Martin is still trying to find his feel as a manager and when to follow what the “card” says versus what might be the right decision. His growth will continue to be a factor in FSU’s success.
Up next: On Thursday, FSU travels to UNC for the last regular season series of the year.