Florida State (23-2) knocked off Florida (11-15) 2-1 for the second time this season on Tuesday night. The Seminoles won the annual series between the rival Florida universities, after winning the first game in Gainesville 4-1 back in Mid-March, Luke Weaver pitched the Seminoles to a victory in Jacksonville to guarantee Florida State at least two out of three.
“It was exciting, it was fun and it’s just something that we are going to enjoy for a couple of days,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We were fortunate tonight to get the win, but very proud to get it done.”
Weaver was lights out for the Seminoles on Tuesday night. The sophomore pitched six strong for the Seminoles, giving up three hits and a run while striking out a career-high nine batters.
“You look at what has been the story most of the year and that’s our pitching,” said Martin. “It was a game that we got crucial relief work. And you can’t say more about the outing that Luke Weaver had tonight. To strike out nine in 6.0 innings, I mean that’s a very good baseball team (to do that against).”
“I came out throwing a little too hard, got a little tight in my arm so I had to spot up a little more,” said Weaver. “I was getting a little lackadaisical with first pitch balls so I attacked more and got the counts in my favor."
After Florida State went up 1-0 early, the Gators were able to even the score in the 2nd inning when Connor Mitchell hit an RBI single with two outs to drive in Zack Powers.
That was the only offense Florida would muster all game though.
Unfortunately for Weaver, despite pitching six strong and being good enough for the win, he left with the game in question, tied at one, and took the no-decision.
The game stayed tied until the 8th inning when 3B Jose Brizuela lead off the inning with a double. After a balk advanced him to third, the Gators went to the bullpen and were able to exploit matchups to record the first two outs of the innings.
SS Giovanny Alfonzo came to the rescue for Florida State though when he singled up the middle to drive in Brizuela and give the Seminoles the lead.
“It feels good because last year they shut us out,” said Alfonzo on getting the series victory over the Gators. “It’s nice to know that we won the first two but we still have one more to take care of at home.”
After Bryant Holtmann replaced Weaver for the Seminoles and pitched 1.2 solid innings, Gage Smith (3-0) picked up the win when he replaced Holtmann in the 8th and threw a single pitch to induce a ground ball and escape from a jam.
Robby Coles earned his fifth save in as many opportunities when he worked a flawless ninth to close out the Gators.
FSU and UF will finish their series in Tallahassee on Tuesday, April 9th at 6 PM.
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