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 on Tuesday.
"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 opener.
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.
"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."
Tapley, a junior from Orlando, just missed a school record when he reached base for the 12th consecutive plate appearance with a single in the third. Paul Sorrento set the record of 13 in 1985; Tapley's streak ended on a flyout to the warning track in rightfield.
The Gators (5-1) and Seminoles play next in Gainesville on March 16, then in Jacksonville on March 30, then in Tallahassee on April 13.
MIAMI 15, USF 2: Whether it was the loss or the fact that USF dropped to 1-6, Bulls coach Lelo Prado isn't at all happy with how his team has opened the year.
"I'm totally embarrassed," Prado said. "I don't know how a group of guys … it's just embarrassing. If you're going to get to where we want to go, you've got to compete. … We have to get a lot better fast."
The 15 runs matched the second-most allowed by USF in 184 games under Prado. Central Michigan had 18 in 2007. There was much to be concerned with Tuesday: three errors, 10 walks, and only six hits on a big stage.
Miami hit seven doubles, three from cleanup hitter Yasmani Grandal, and leftfielder Michael Broad had four RBIs. Freshman left-hander Steven Ewing, making his first start, made it into the seventh, striking out six and walking one.
FSU and Miami both have major-league exhibitions today, with the Seminoles playing the Phillies in Clearwater and the Hurricanes facing the Marlins in Jupiter. The Hurricanes and Gators play a three-game set in Coral Gables this weekend.
Game-time temperatures were in the mid 50s, and with winds gusting at 20 mph, it was a chilly night, limiting the attendance.
"I think it's a good idea. We probably don't get to look at the impact of how much the city really backed this event, because it's so cold," Miami coach Jim Morris said. "Nobody's coming out because it's so cold. We're freezing on the field."