Florida is probably starting to wish that the rival Seminoles were in the SEC. At least, for baseball.
The Gators faced FSU head coach Mike Martin for what is likely the final time, and sent the winningest head coach in NCAA baseball history reeling to his eleventh straight defeat (matching his uniform number).
The Gators offense struggled for much of the night, but a timely double by pinch hitter Kirby McMullen in the ninth led Florida past their arch-rival.
Despite not getting their first base hit until the sixth inning, Florida got on the scoreboard first with an unearned run in the top of the fourth. Brady McConnell led off the inning with a liner to center that FSU CF JC Flowers dropped. Jacob Young laid down a perfect bunt to move McConnell to third. McConnell reached the plate thanks to a passed ball by FSU C Matheu Nelson.
The Seminoles tied the game in the fifth after a leadoff walk by David Luethje wound up coming around to score. De Sedas had stolen third base prior to a groundout by Alec Sanchez that brought him home.
Kirby McMullen played hero as a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth as he doubled down the right field line to score Kendrick Calilao (double) and Will Dalton (intentionally walked) to put Florida ahead 3-1.
- David Luethje earned his first start of the season, final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB.
- The Florida bullpen (Justin Alintoff and Ben Specht) tossed five innings, allowing only three hits and walking one while striking out seven)
- Ben Specht (1-0) earned the win, pitching three innings and striking out five to complete the game
- Florida finished the game 1-6 with runners in scoring position while the Seminoles were 0-4 in the same situation.
The Gators will take on South Carolina as part of the #WeChompWeekend beginning Friday evening. The Gamecocks are 19-13 overall and 3-9 in SEC play. Florida needs to take advantage of a team that is below them in the standings to stay relevant in the East Divison race.