JACKSONVILLE-- No. 4 Florida State had plenty of chances but failed to capitalize on Tuesday as No. 1 Florida came away with the 4-1 victory to clinch the season series between the two in-state rivals for the first time since 2009.
The momentum of the game shifted in the sixth inning after FSU (21-4) loaded the bases with one out, and Stephen McGee promptly grounded into a double play.
The Gators (23-2) seized control of the game in the bottom of the inning after Brian Busch (0-1) took over for starter Scott Sitz after a one-out single. Busch then walked the next batter he faced before giving up a two-run triple to Casey Tugeron just over the head of James Ramsey.
"It was over my head," Ramsey said of the ball that hit off of his glove. "I just didn't catch it."
"That one hurt," he added.
UF added another run in the inning on an RBI single from Vickash Ramjit off of senior reliever Hunter Scantling. Busch was charged with the run as he finished with a line of 1/3 of an inning pitched, two earned runs allowed on one hit and a walk.
Sitz put together an impressive performance in front of a crowd of 10,751 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in his hometown.
The junior righty allowed just one earned run on two hits and three walks in 5.1 innings and struck out five.
"I actually had all my pitches working today," Sitz said. "I've been working on a new changeup opposed to my other grip on it. I've been throwing more strikes with that and it's been effective on lefties... The umpire was just giving us a little bit off so I was just trying to work on that and get us back in the dugout."
In the top of the fourth FSU took a 1-0 lead on an RBI ground out by Ramsey to score Sherman Johnson who led off the inning with his fifth double of the year.
The Seminoles had a chance for a bigger inning with runners at second and third but were unable to push anything across. FSU left eight runners stranded in the game.
"The University of Florida played well and deserved to win," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "We played well, had our chances and couldn't capitalize. Tip your cap to them."
Despite the sting of losing to their biggest rival for the second time this season, Ramsey said he was sure that Tuesday night would be long forgotten when FSU takes the field on Friday at Dick Howser Stadium for a three-game series with Virginia Tech.
"We're not worried about it," he said. "It's one L to a good team. We learned a lot and that's the whole thing about it. We need to win every game we can to put ourselves in position for postseason but we're going to peak in June at the right time, we're going to learn the lessons sometimes the hard way."