No. 1 Gators Ride Early Momentum to Blank Noles

The No. 1 ranked Florida Gators scored as early as they did often when they played host to the No. 11 Florida State Seminoles on Tuesday night. Before the fifth inning had ended, the Gators had scored all six of their runs, forced two pitching changes, and were comfortably in the driver’s seat. The game would end with the Gators on top, 6-0.

Gators infielder Dalton Guthrie awaits the pitch.
Gators infielder Dalton Guthrie awaits the pitch.

With regards to their national ranking, Florida left no uncertainty.

To be sure, both starting pitchers looked unsettled in the first inning, as Florida’s Dane Dunning and Florida State’s Tyler Holton threw over twenty pitches apiece. But while Dunning quickly settled in, Holton continued to look rattled across the next three innings.

Perhaps the most indicative example of the Seminoles’ struggles came in the bottom of the second. First baseman Dylan Busby overran a foul fly ball drifting away from the right field line, and then dropped a typical flyball while backing up to attempt the play on the very next hit. Both of these misplays came after Nelson Maldonado hit a solo home run to put the Gators on the board. It was his second home run of the season.

The Gators were merely getting started, and for FSU, the struggles only continued.

Florida first baseman Peter Alonzo hit the Gators’ second home run of the night soon afterwards, a two-run shot that left little doubt. J.J Schwarz and Jonathan India combined for five of the Gators’ nine-hit effort. And with RBIs and runs scored spread throughout the lineup, we saw how dangerous this No. 1 ranked Gators team can be against a formidable opponent.

The rest of the way was smooth sailing, as the Seminoles managed just one hit across the final four innings.

Dunning gets credit for the win, and the Gators prepare to face a Missouri team that is entering its Wednesday contest on a three-game losing streak.