ATHENS, Ga. - Fifth-ranked Florida State withstood a five-run ninth-inning rally to hang on for a 6-5 win over Georgia Friday at Foley Field.
FSU junior left-hander Sean Gilmartin tossed eight shutout innings on one hit and set a career high with 11 strikeouts before giving way to the Seminole bullpen. Georgia rallied off of Brandon Johnson and Daniel Bennett but came up short. The Seminoles remain undefeated at 9-0 while the Bulldogs drop to 2-7.
The Bulldogs were held hitless until freshman catcher Brandon Stephens singled with two outs in the fifth. Gilmartin ran his record to 3-0.
“Sean has been real good against us for three years now, and we couldn’t do anything offensively until the ninth,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “I was pleased with how our bullpen did in relief of Alex Wood, who pitched pretty well until giving up the two home runs in the fifth.”
Wood (0-2) struck out a career high six before being chased in the fifth. Senior Eric Swegman, John Herman and Earl Daniels combined to pitch 4.1 scoreless innings.
Florida State struck immediately in the top of the first after a James Ramsey RBI single brought in Devon Travis. Travis reached on a lead-off double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. In the top of the second, back-to-back infield singles with two out netted the Seminoles’ second run. Stuart Tapley scored when Georgia shortstop Kyle Farmer was unable to rein in a chopper off the bat of Travis. Two-run homeruns by Mike McGee and Jayce Boyd in the fifth inning pushed the FSU lead to 6-0.
Georgia made the most of their final opportunity to bat. Jonathan Taylor and Curt Powell started the bottom of the ninth with a pair of walks. Singles by Levi Hyams and Zach Cone brought in a pair of runs. After a Chase Davidson groundout, Kyle Farmer added another run-scoring base hit. Pitch-hitter Conor Welton loaded the bases after reaching on a bouncing ball to third. Kevin Ruiz watched strike-three but Peter Verdin earned an RBI hit-by-pitch. Having batted around, Taylor reached base again with a single to keep the bases loaded. Bennett came back to strike out Powell to end the contest.
The second game of the series will begin at 2:06 p.m. Saturday, and it will be televised by CSS.