#5 Florida State falls to #14 Florida 6-3 in return of the Sunshine Showdown
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) - 5th-ranked Florida State Baseball fell to the 14th-ranked Florida Gators in the first Sunshine Showdown since 2019. Nearly 10,000 showed up to the game at 121 Financial Ballpark in Jacksonville.
The ‘Noles got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Brett Roberts led off the inning with a double, Jackson Greene bunted him over to third, and Colton Vincent knocked him in with an RBI single to take an early 1-0 lead over the Gators.
Florida wasted no time getting that run back. A single by Deric Fabian followed up by an RBI double by Josh Rivera (both with two outs) and the Gators pulled back even with FSU at one a piece in the bottom of the second.
Florida State was threatening again in the top of the third inning. A couple of singles forced Florida to bring in reliever Nick Ficarrotta in for starter Garrett Milchin after just 2.1 innings pitched. Logan Lacey hit what was certainly going to be a three-run homerun, however, Gator left fielder Wyatt Langford had other ideas. Langford made a sensational catch robbing Lacey of a homerun keeping the game tied.
Florida took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third. A walk, single, and RBI Fielder’s choice by Wyatt Langford gave the Gators a 2-1 advantage. Carson Montgomery worked his way out of bases loaded, two out jam later that inning with an inning ending strikeout. That kept the deficit at just one.
FSU manufactured a run in the top of the 4th. Ficarrotta walked Reese Albert with the bases loaded tying the game up at two. That prompted another pitching change for the Gators. Brandon Neely came in to the game in relief and proceeded to strike out both Jaime Ferrer and James Tibbs (both with the bases loaded) to end the FSU threat.
We stayed tied 2-2 until the bottom of the 5th. Wyatt Langford led off the inning with a triple. BR Riopelle followed it up with an RBI groundout and the Gators took a 3-2 lead. Josh Rivera kept the momentum going with a two-run homerun later in the inning--his third homerun of the season--giving Florida a three-run 5-2 lead.
Wyatt Crowell came in to relieve Carson Montgomery in the 6th. Montgomery went five innings giving up eight hits, five earned runs, and two walks while striking out six batters on 94 pitches.
FSU was able to push a run across in the top of the 7th courtesy of a Brett Roberts SAC fly to trim the deficit to 5-3. However, that three-run 5th inning was too much to overcome on Tuesday night for FSU.
Florida ended up tacking on an unearned run in the bottom of the 8th on a Davis Hare wild pitch to make the final 6-3 over the Seminoles. Florida has now won 18 of its last 21 matchups with Florida State.
Florida ends with six runs on 11 hits and zero errors. Florida State turning in three runs on nine hits while committing two errors.
Brandon Neely gets the win for Florida (1-0) while Carson Montgomery suffers his first loss of the season for Florida State (3-1).
FSU drops to 16-8 on the season while Florida improves to 18-7. The Seminoles open up a three-game series at home against 16th-ranked Notre Dame on Friday. Florida travels to Athens, Georgia for a 3 game series with 23rd-ranked Georgia this weekend.
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