Fifth-Inning Leads No. 2 Gators Past No. 7 Noles

Fifth-Inning Leads No. 2 Gators Past No. 7 Noles
Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 23:11:00-04

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A big fifth inning propelled No. 2 Florida to a 12-6 win over No. 7 Florida State Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium.

The Seminoles got off to a hot start as Rhett Aplin and Cal Raleigh hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning to start the game.

Aplin’s first of the season was a blast to right-center field that cleared the bullpen beyond the wall. Raleigh followed up with his second shot of the year, an opposite field bomb to right field, giving FSU a 2-0 lead.


“The big thing for me is just to square balls up, it’s something we work on every day,” Rhett Aplin said following the game. “The power has been there for us, but finally some hard hits are turning into home runs.”

After the Gators got on the board via a home run from Jonathan India in the 2nd inning, the Seminoles added two more in the top of the 3rd inning thanks to Aplin’s second home run of the game, a two-run blast to right field, pushing FSU’s lead to 4-1.

UF responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 4-3, with an RBI single and an RBI groundout.

The Gators took the lead and busted the game open in the 5th inning off Andrew Karp (3-1) with seven runs on five hits. Highlighting the big inning was a two-run double that blooped over Drew Mendoza’s head at third and an RBI single.

Karp finished the game pitching 4.1 innings, giving up 8 hits and 7 earned runs. The redshirt sophomore from Winter Garden, Fla., walked two batters, while striking out two on 80 total pitches.

Florida added one more in the 7th inning, extending the lead to 11-4 with a sacrifice fly.

The Seminoles continued to fight as Mendoza lined a solo home run to right field, his first of the season, to cut the lead to six in the 8th. Reese Albert followed with an RBI double later in the frame, scoring Steven Wells and cutting the Gator lead to 11-6.

“I saw guys that would battle you in the box, that made me proud,” head coach Mike Martin said following the game. “Throughout the game we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves. I’m pleased with the attitude of this team.”

India responded with his second home run of the game for the Gators in the bottom half of the 8th, a towering solo blast to left field off CJ Van Eyk extending the lead to 12-6.

The loss drops Florida State to 14-3 on the season, while Florida improves to 16-3 in 2018. The Seminoles and Gators will meet again for the second of three games in Jacksonville on March 27.

Of Note
  • Rhett Aplin hit his first two home runs of the season in his first two at-bats Tuesday. He now has eight for his career.
  • Cal Raleigh followed Aplin’s first-inning home run with a home run, the first back-to-back home runs for FSU since the ninth inning of the College World Series against LSU (Quincy Nieporte and Raleigh). The home run was Raleigh’s second of the season and team-high 21st of his career.
  • Aplin was the first Seminole to hit home runs in consecutive at-bats since Drew Mendoza did so in the ACC Championship Game last season against North Carolina. He was the first with two in a game since Taylor Walls in the Super Regional final against Sam Houston State in 2017.
  • FSU entered the game with seven home runs on the season and hit four against Florida. It was the first game the Seminoles hit more than two home runs in a game this season.
  • Aplin and Mendoza extended their career-high hitting streaks to 7 and 9 games, respectively. Raleigh also has an active seven-game hitting streak.
  • Mendoza doubled in the sixth inning, his fourth straight game with a double. He homered in the eighth inning, his first of the year and 11th of his career. After going 3-for-4 today, he leads FSU with a .429 average and is 18-for-34 with eight runs, six doubles and 13 RBI in the past nine games.
  • Mike Salvatore hit his second double of the year in the third inning. Reese Albert hit his first career double in the eighth inning.
  • Raleigh threw out his fourth baserunner of the season to end the fourth inning.
  • J.C. Flowers threw out his second runner of the year and fifth of his career.
Up Next

Florida State hosts Notre Dame for a three-game ACC series beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. Saturday’s game will begin at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will start at noon. All three games will stream on the ACC Network Extra.

For more information on Florida State baseball, check for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).