Image Credit: ESPN Images
No. 2 Florida Gators baseball won its fifth straight game against the in-state rival Florida State Seminoles, completing a three-game season sweep with a 8-2 victory on Tuesday night in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Gators (30-5) scored early and often, posting a 3-0 mark through the top of the fourth, leading 5-2 through eight and tacking on three runs in the top of the ninth just for good measure. The Seminoles (22-9) have now been outscored 17-4 by UF this season. Florida posted a 6-0 victory on March 15 in Gainesville and 3-2 neutral-site win on March 29 in Jacksonville.
Sophomore catcher JJ Schwarz starred for Florida on Tuesday, going 3/4 with a home run, three RBI, two runs and a walk. Sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie (3/5, 2 RBI, R) and junior first baseman Peter Alonso (3/5, R) were also nails for the Gators.
Florida went through five pitchers on Tuesday evening, but the combined effort of the Gators’ staff against the Noles this season has resulted in a 1.00 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
UF has now registered three regular-season sweeps of FSU under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan with the Gators also beating the Noles thrice in 2012 and 2014. The Gators have also won 10 of the last 12 against the Noles, with UF’s five game winning streak tying a long in the series.
The victory moved Florida to 8-3 against top-10 opponents and 10-3 against teams ranked in the top 25. Tuesday’s win was a big one for the Gators, which saw a program-record 29-game home winning streak come to an end over the weekend at the hands of Mississippi State, which beat Florida 10-4 on Saturday and 2-1 on Sunday in Gainesville.
The losses dropped UF from the No. 1 spot in the top 25 rankings, which the Gators will look to reclaim this weekend with a three-game road series at Arkansas from Thursday to Saturday.