No love is lost between the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles. These in-state rivals take pride in their athletic programs, which makes for some exciting and heated match-ups across a myriad of sports. Football may dominate the front page of this rivalry, but the bad blood extends to many other sports, including baseball. These are athletes that have grown up competing against each other and may have even been teammates along the way. This familiarity adds fuel to the fire, and this is what makes rivalries great.
Last night, during the second game of the Florida-Florida State men’s baseball series, tempers boiled over, leading to a benches clearing “confrontation”. Florida sophomore left-hander Danny Young was attempting to field a grounder along the first base line when Florida State’s DJ Stewart ran into him on his way to beat out the throw. Stewart was safe at first base and was confronted by Florida first baseman Zach Powers, who took issue with the contact on the play. Powers got up in Stewart’s face, presumably to voice his discontent with Stewart’s style of play, which prompted Stewart to shove Powers. Queue the bench clearing, as both teams (bullpens included) emptied out onto the field for a nice little mosh pit. Included in the mix-up was Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston, which sent off all types of noises and sirens at ESPN to alert them of a developing story!!!
In the end, Stewart, Young, and Powers were all ejected (IMO: Danny Young kind of got a raw deal, considering he didn’t initiate the confrontation), and the Gators took down the Seminoles by the score of 4-1. The win improved the Gators to 16-9 on the season, while the top-ranked Seminoles fell to 19-5. Florida clinched the season series, having already won the contest in Gainesville last Tuesday. The season series concludes on April 8th in Tallahassee.