COURTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS
After being shut out and limited to three hits on Friday, Florida (24-12, 8-7 SEC) exploded for 20 runs on 20 hits, both season highs, and took the series at Vanderbilt (22-15, 7-8 SEC) with a 20-8 win on Saturday afternoon in Nashville.
Three different Gators notched four RBI and eight players had multi-hit days. Dalton Guthrie hit a pair of solo home runs for the second time in his career.
Florida’s run total was the most allowed by Vanderbilt in 15 seasons under head coach Tim Corbin. Twenty runs are the most scored by Florida against Vanderbilt since a 21-5 win on March 24, 1985.
It was the most runs UF has scored in an SEC game since scoring 24 against Auburn in 2009.
Guthrie hit a solo home run to left field to open the scoring on Saturday and the Gators didn’t look back. Three batters later, Nelson Maldonado hit his second home run of the year, a three-run shot that gave Florida a 4-0 lead after the opening frame.
The floodgates opened in the third inning as nine-straight batters reached base to start the inning. JJ Schwarz and Keenan Bell had RBI singles and Mark Kolozsvary had a two-run double. Maldonado’s RBI single made it 10-0 and gave him a career high four RBI.
Florida scored eight runs in the inning, its highest output in a single frame all season.
Vanderbilt answered the UF offense with five runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Jason Delay’s two-out double scored two runs and JJ Bleday followed with an RBI double to cut the Gators lead to 12-5.
UF added another run in the fifth inning on Austin Langworthy’s RBI double, but Vanderbilt answered on Delay’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
The Gators added two more runs in the next inning. Bell had his second hit of the game and scored on Kolozsvary’s second double of the day.
Deacon Liput followed with his second triple of the season to bring home Kolozsvary.
Schwarz hit a solo home run over the 400-foot sign in center field in the seventh inning and Kolozsvary singled home his fourth RBI of the day.
Dalton Guthrie hit his second solo home run of the day in the eighth inning in nearly the same spot in the left field bleachers. The Gators added another run on Schwarz’s fourth RBI of the day to make it 19-7.
The Gators reached the 20-run mark in the ninth inning on a RBI groundout by Liput.
On the mound, Jackson Kowar improved to 6-0 despite allowing six runs on 10 hits. Junior Nick Horvath pitched three innings in relief with two runs allowed and freshman Tyler Dyson pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Florida returns home next week for a four-game home stand. On Tuesday night, the Gators will host UNF at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.
Starting Thursday, UF will host No. 11 South Carolina for an important Southeastern Conference series.
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes:
“Yesterday was just one of those days where we got beat by a really, really good pitcher. There was nothing you could do, we just got flat out beat. I wanted these guys to keep their chins up, we still had a chance to win the series.
“Obviously today was all based on the offense. Every starter had a hit, every starter had two hits except for Langworthy but he was on base, had three walks. Did I see 20 runs, of course not. Hopefully this is a step. We keep making progress. Hopefully this is the game that gets us over the hump offensively, but Tuesday’s another game. It’s a crazy game. Obviously pleased about getting a series win here.”