Baseball: Gators rally, fall to FSU 10-5 in Tampa
TAMPA -- Up 10-1 with two outs in the ninth, No. 6 Florida State didn't expect to have a save opportunity before closing out No. 5 Florida.
But the Gators struck for four runs on four hits and had the bases loaded with the tying run on deck when reliever Daniel Bennett got Daniel Pigott to pop out in foul territory to clinch a 10-5 win as part of the Florida Four tournament at Steinbrenner Field.
"It's 27 outs, and you'd better get them all," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "It's a credit to the University of Florida for fighting and staying tough."
The two-game event drew an announced crowd of 8,348, though the actual attendance was less due to unseasonably cold and windy weather. No. 16 Miami routed USF 15-2 in the opening game.
FSU (7-0) got all the offense it needed in a seven-run first, as the first six batters reached base, chasing starter Anthony DeSclafani before he could record an out. Stuart Tapley hit a two-run single, and Jayce Boyd closed out the inning's scoring with a two-run home run to right.
Seminoles starter Geoff Parker, a Zephyrhills graduate, gave up a solo home run to freshman catcher Mike Zunino in the third, but otherwise cruised, lasting into the sixth for his first win of the season.
"Geoff Parker was definitely the key. He pitched extremely well," Martin said. "He didn't pitch like he had a seven-run lead. He pitched tough."
Every FSU starter had at least one hit, and the Seminoles finished with 13 -- their 10 runs is actually a season low. The Gators (5-1) and Seminoles take their rivalry around the state this season, playing next in Gainesville on March 16, then in Jacksonville March 30, then in Tallahassee on April 13.
-- Greg Auman, Times staff writer