Noles Drop Gators at the Baseball Grounds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No. 8 Florida State (23-7) evened the season series with intra-state rival and fifth-ranked Florida (23-7) on Tuesday evening with an 8-3 victory in front of a packed house of 8,306 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in the second installment of the Share A Little Sunshine Showdown.

With the win, the Seminoles snapped a five-game losing streak to the Gators, while FSU improved to 6-3 all-time against UF in Jacksonville.

“Bryant Holtmann was outstanding,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “He really gave us what we needed. We were fortunate early; we got some key hits, balls that were just out of the reach (of the Gator defenders) but I am just very proud of this club for getting it done.

“This is a great venue, a great crowd; it’s good for college baseball in our great state.”

Florida State out hit Florida 13-6 on Tuesday night marking the most hits by the Seminoles on the road this year. John Sansone led the Seminole offense with a career-high four hits as the junior second baseman reached base on all five plate appearances recording three singles, a double and a walk with the bases loaded in the seventh.
“John is slowing everything down; the game is not coming at him so fast, he’s seeing the ball longer,” said Martin. “He’s having the game come to him instead of doing too much.”

Josh Delph finished with two hits for the second straight game, while Danny De La Calle collected two hits for his team leading 10th multi-hit game of the year. The senior catcher drove in two and scored twice recording a solo home run in the fourth for his fifth round tripper of the year.

Making his first career start against Florida, Bryant Holtmann turned in 5.0 strong innings as he allowed just one run on five hits to move to 4-1 on the year. The senior southpaw struck out three and did not issue a walk in his fourth start this year. At one point in the game, Holtmann retired nine straight Gator hitters.

“Holtmann was the key, to pitch like he did and to turn it over to Dylan,” said Martin. “He was excellent, one of his better outings as a Seminole.”

Dylan Silva worked the final 4.0 innings to earn his first save of the year. The junior lefty got the Noles out of a jam in the sixth as the Gators had two on and no outs with FSU leading 5-1. Silva came on and left both runners stranded recording a pair of fly outs and a strikeout as FSU maintained its four-run cushion.

Silva retired the first nine batters he faced before issuing a walk to Harrison Bader in the ninth. He finished his outing allowing two runs on a hit as he walked one and struck out five to tie a career-high.  

“Dylan finished it for us and that was so important,” said Martin. “He really picked us up tonight.”

The Noles grabbed the early lead courtesy of a two-out RBI single by Hank Truluck in the second. Delph kept the inning alive with a two-out double to the wall in right and Truluck followed two pitches later dropping a bloop single to right to bring home Delph for the first run of the game and 1-0 Seminole advantage.

The Seminoles pushed their lead to 2-0 with a run in the third. Sansone recorded his second hit in as many plate appearances with a sharp infield single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI double down the line in right by DJ Stewart.

Florida cut the deficit in half in the fourth on a solo home run by Josh Tobias. The senior third baseman took a 2-0 pitch from Holtmann just inside the left field foul pole for his third home run of the season.

Florida State pushed its lead back to two at 3-1 with a solo shot of its own in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs in the inning, De La Calle deposited a 1-0 pitch from Florida starter Alex Faedo (1-1) out of the park to left for his fifth round tripper of the season.

The Noles extended their lead to 5-1 on a pair of two-out RBI singles by Dylan Busby and Delph in the fifth. Sansone opened the inning with his third hit of the night as his pop fly dropped in front of the mound around four Gator defenders for an infield base hit. After a Quincy Nieporte single put runners at the corners, Busby then laced a two-out RBI single to left followed by a Delph RBI single to right.

FSU added three more runs in the seventh to take a commanding 8-1 lead. The Seminoles registered only one hit in the inning but took advantage of four Gator walks. Busby and Delph led off the inning with back-to-back walks off Brett Morales. After a sac-bunt by Truluck moved both runners 90 feet, De La Calle answered with an RBI single to left. Sansone brought home the second run of the inning drawing a walk with the bases loaded, while Stewart plated the third run on a sac-fly to center.

The Gators added two in the ninth off Silva on a pair of RBI groundouts by Buddy Reed and JJ Schwarz.

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