It was domination from the start at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville on Friday night as Florida pushed rival Florida State to the brink of elimination with a 13-5 victory in the first game of a best-of-three Super Regional.
Florida catcher Mike Rivera’s 2-run single capped a 4-run first for the Gators (48-16) and they never looked back. Florida added two runs in the third before J.J. Schwarz’s solo blast in the fifth put the Gators ahead 7-0.
Florida extended the lead to 13-0 with two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh.
FSU starter Boomer Biegalski left with no one out in the third inning and allowed six runs — five earned — to take the loss. Biegalski had allowed just two runs in his previous 18 2/3 innings entering Friday.
Conversely, Logan Shore was stellar for Florida in his 5 2/3 shutout innings. Shore yielded just four hits and two walks while striking out five.
Rivera and clean-up hitter Josh Tobias each had three RBIs for the Gators in the victory. Schwarz added two RBIs and scored three runs.
The Seminoles (44-20) broke up the shutout in the eighth on a 2-run home run by D.J. Stewart. FSU added three runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Steven Wells, Hank Truluck and Quincy Nieporte.
To keep its season alive and force a decisive third game, Florida State will need to defeat Florida on Saturday evening. FSU has not won a Super Regional game since beating Stanford to advance to the College World Series in 2012.
Featured image courtesy of John Raoux/Associated Press