With Florida leading by six runs after four frames, the team’s public address announcer blasted a remix to B.B. King’s Let The Good Times Roll.
The Gators are rolling, indeed, as the nation’s No. 4 overall seed is just one win away from its first trip to the College World Series since 2012 after steamrolling Florida State 13-5 in a Super Regional game Friday night at McKethan Stadium.
“I’m looking for my humble pie,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “It was an old-fashion switching. They beat us in every facet of the game.”
The Seminoles will look to stave off elimination Saturday (5 p.m., ESPN2) in the best-of-3 series.
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The rout was on immediately, as Florida jumped on FSU ace Boomer Biegalski (7-5, 3.17 ERA) with four runs on five singles and a walk in the first inning. The Gators batted around in the opening frame, with Josh Tobias kick-starting the merry-go-round with an RBI single. Freshman DH JJ Schwarz added a run-scoring knock, too, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Biegalski, who later surrendered a bases-loaded, two-out two-run single to UF freshman catcher Mike Rivera, needed 33 pitches to escape the inning.
But it only got worse.
In the fifth, Schwarz ‒ the Gainesville Regional’s Most Valuable Player ‒ launched a solo bomb into the left-center power alley, his 16th homer on the year.
“We had a really good approach,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Scoring four in the first really loosened us up a bit. I thought we had good at-bats the whole night.”
The Gators’ scoring onslaught continued, plating two more runs in the sixth and another four in the seventh.
Biegalski was pulled after just 65 pitches, exiting in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs. The sophomore pitcher, who had thrown at least five innings in all 16 starts this season, allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks.
The rest of FSU’s pitching staff didn’t fare any better, but the Noles’ defense was nearly as bad. Through seven innings, the Seminoles had as many errors (4) as hits (4).
“We’ve got some guys in the lineup that can run and they put pressure on defenses,” O’Sullivan said. “The great thing is we played great tonight, but the bad thing is we can’t take any of these runs we scored tonight for tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Florida sophomore righty Logan Shore (9-6, 2.50 ERA) cruised through the first four frames. He scattered four hits over 5.2 innings while striking out five. He was rarely threatened, but he did escape a first-and-third, one-out jam in the fifth with a strikeout and soft lineout.
He encountered more trouble in the sixth and exited with two outs after a pair of walks. Gators southpaw Kirby Snead was inserted and promptly loaded the bases with another free pass. Closer Taylor Lewis quickly relieved Snead and ended the threat with a groundout on a terrific play by freshman second baseman Dalton Guthrie.
In two NCAA Tournament starts, Shore has now tossed 10.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
“Logan was really good on the mound,” O’Sullivan said. “Taylor Lewis also came in a crucial situation and did his job.”
FSU spoiled UF’s shutout bid with a two-run homer by D.J. Stewart in the eighth. The Seminoles added three runs in the ninth.
The Gators are 35-4 with they score first. … Florida has outscored opponents 68-14 during its current nine-game postseason winning streak. … All nine UF starters reached base. … The Seminoles have committed nine errors in two games at McKethan Stadium this season.