The streak was in jeopardy.
Junior right-hander Tyler Dyson had his best start of the season on Sunday, commanding the s…
Florida had won eight in a row over Florida State, but it trailed 6-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
Once it started scoring, it didn’t stop.
The Gators rallied from behind with a five-run fifth inning and an eight-run sixth inning to punctuate their ninth-straight victory over the rival Seminoles, spoiling FSU coach Mike Martin’s final game in Gainesville.
Florida only scored in three innings but defeated Florida State 20-7. The No. 5 Gators (14-5) and No. 10 Seminoles (13-2) both made a slew of mistakes, uncharacteristic of a top-10 matchup.
Florida State jumped on Jordan Butler early. He allowed a leadoff double to Mike Salvatore and another double to Drew Mendoza later in the first inning that put FSU ahead 1-0. The Seminoles built on that lead in the third inning when star freshman Nander De Sedas took Butler deep to left field for his fifth home run of the season.
Florida’s closer Nolan Crisp was called upon earlier than usual, and he did not respond well to the change. J.C. Flowers hit a grand slam off Crisp to put FSU ahead 6-0.
Crisp had let up one run all season, but allowed three on Tuesday. He also had yet to walk a batter on the year, but walked three in the win.
It was FSU’s mistakes that let UF back into the game, but the Gators’ bats secured the win.
Every scoring inning for UF involved Kendrick Calilao. Florida loaded the bases for the freshman cleanup hitter in the fifth inning, and he delivered with a two-RBI single to put the Gators on the board.
Nelson Maldonado scored on a wild pitch by Clayton Kwiatkowski during Jud Fabian’s at-bat. Then, Calilao scored on another wild pitch.
Fabian drew a walk, and then came around to score on a Kirby McMullen RBI single. Even after what seemed like a miracle comeback, UF still trailed 6-5.
FSU got a run back in the top of the sixth inning on a Salvatore RBI single.
Florida responded with a six-hit, eight-run inning. Calilao hit an RBI single after Brady McConnell and Maldonado were both hit to begin the inning. Wil Dalton tied the game up at 7 in the next at-bat with a single.
Austin Langworthy’s attempt to move the runners over worked better than he expected. On his sacrifice bunt attempt, FSU pitcher Austin Pollock overthrew the first baseman, allowing Langworthy to advance to third and Dalton and Calilao to score.
The Gators took their first lead on the botched play and did not relinquish it.
Pollock threw 2.1 innings but allowed nine hits and eight earned runs. UF held a 13-7 lead heading into the eighth inning, and Calilao again led the charge. Maldonado hit an RBI single to load the bases for Calilao.
This time around he delivered a grand slam, his second of the season and his third home run. Calilao went 4 for 6 at the plate, scored three runs and finished with 6 RBIs. He now has 25 on the year to lead the team.
Blake Reese followed with a two-run homer to give the Gators 20 runs, the second time they’ve hit that mark this season after scoring 28 against Winthrop on March 3.
Florida finished with 17 hits and seven walks in yet another strong offensive showing, this time against a likely postseason team.
Despite the win, O’Sullivan is already looking ahead.
“The runs we scored tonight mean nothing on Friday,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I’m excited for the guys and yeah they battled and they did what they needed to do and they put up three big innings, but at the end of the day we need to do some things better.”
Follow Kyle Wood on Twitter @Kkylewood and contact him at [email protected].