GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The #3 Florida Gators secured the season series against the Florida State Seminoles in a 5-3 win that lasted just north of two hours Tuesday evening. The Gators improved to 28-6 on the year and have won 21 of the last 25 against the Seminoles.
Gators starter Ryan Slater threw five scoreless innings before being tagged for three runs, two of them earned, in the sixth. Slater finished the night with one strikeout and no walks allowed. Seminoles starter Ben Barrett kept the potent Gators’ offense at bay, hurling five shutout innings and allowing only one hit.
The Gators bullpen was excellent, going nine up nine down in the final three innings. Cade Fisher earned the win in relief, throwing two perfect innings, while striking out one. Closer Brandon Neely earned his SEC leading seventh save by striking out the side in order. Doug Kirkland was tagged with the loss for the Seminoles.
Colby Halter continued his stellar defensive season with a diving stop at third to end the fourth.
On the offensive side of the ball, Josh Rivera opened the scoring for the Gators with a single to left that scored Michael Robertson. Halter, Robertson and Wyatt Langford each had a base hit.
In the eighth, a botched pickoff attempt allowed Rivera to score to pull the Gators within one. Halter proceeded to work a two out walk to bring defensive replacement Ty Evans to the plate. In his first at bat of the game, Evans lined a hanging breaking ball into the left-field berm for a three run go-ahead shot. The ball left Evans’ bat at 100 mph and gave way for Neely to slam the door.
The Gators will continue rivalry week when the struggling Georgia Bulldogs come to town for a three game set. Friday’s first pitch at Condron Family Ballpark is slated for 7 p.m.