After losing to Florida both in Gainesville and in a neutral-site clash in Jacksonville already this season, Florida State had one more chance to snap its prolonged losing skid against its in-state rivals while playing host Tuesday night for the third and final regular-season meeting.
Instead, it was more of the same for the Seminoles.
No. 1-ranked Florida pulled ahead with a 3-run fourth inning and kept tacking onto its lead from there on the way to a 6-3 win over No. 12 Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Gators (29-6) have now won eight straight meetings with the Seminoles (24-10) and 13 of the last 14 overall, extending the program’s best-ever winning streak in the series.
“Every time they scored we were fortunate enough to score and kind of grab the momentum back,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I’ve been here enough to know when the momentum kind of shifts to their dugout, sometimes it’s hard to get back. Answering back was the story of the game. We just kept putting pressure on them.”
Freshman Tommy Mace (3-0) was credited with the win after allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks over 4 innings while veteran closer Michael Byrne ultimate earned his 8th save with 1 1/3 scoreless innings at the end.
JJ Schwarz and Austin Langworthy were each 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a run, Blake Reese was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Nelson Maldonado finished 2 for 5, Wil Dalton went 1 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs and Jonathan India was 1 for 3 with 2 runs as well, extending his hitting streak to 20 games.
Florida was down 1-0 entering the fourth inning when Dalton doubled home India to tie the game. Langworthy followed with an RBI single, took second on an error and came home to score on Reese’s RBI single to make it 3-1.
The Gators would never lose the lead, though they needed a little more offense to hold off the Seminoles.
It was 3-2 entering the sixth inning when JJ Schwarz tacked on an RBI single to plate India and Langworthy doubled to left center to score Wil Dalton and make it 5-2.
Schwarz then added a solo homer in the eighth to again make it a 3-run lead at 6-3. He now has 8 homers and 25 RBIs in his career against the Seminoles.
Florida had previously won 12-6 at home against Florida State on March 13 and 1-0 in the Jacksonville showdown on March 27.