Florida rallied from a 5-4 deficit to go up 7-5 with three runs in the sixth inning. Mark Kiger hit a leadoff single up the middle and reached second on an errant throw when Matt Goss' put down a sacrifice bunt attempt. Brian Rose's bunt single loaded the bases for Jonathan Tucker who drove home Kiger home from third. A wild pitch scored Goss from third and a second wild pitch scored Rose to give the Gators a 7-5 lead. The Gators made it 9-5 in the seventh when Mark Kiger and Matt Goss reached base on consecutive walks and Brian Rose's double off the wall in left center field plated both runners.
David Bartelt (4-1) earned the win on the mound after pitching a career-high 4.1 innings and allowing five hits. It was his second consecutive win after winning Tuesday's game against Bethune-Cookman. He relieved UF starter Jimmy Ramshaw in the middle of the fourth inning and registered the final two outs. Jamie Goldfarb earned his first collegiate save. The Gator pitchers combined to walk zero batters over nine innings.
"The key for us today was that we battled through some adversity," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "David Bartelt took it on his shoulders and pitched a great ballgame and Ryan Shealy had a big home run that ignited us offensively."
Trailing 5-0 in the fourth inning, Ryan Shealy put Florida on the scoreboard when he hit a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left center field for a two-run homer. The blast was his SEC leading 17th home run. The Gators pulled to within one run at 5-4 in the fifth when Jonathan Tucker led off with a single and scored on Aaron Davidson's home run to left field. It was Davidson's sixth homer of the season.
Vanderbilt built a 5-0 lead with a three-run third and two-run fourth inning. In the third inning, three straight singles loaded the bases for Sean Luellwitz's two RBI single to right center field. Scott Shapiro's ground ball drove in the third run of the inning. The Commodores made it 5-0 with two more runs in the fourth on John Kaye's solo home run and Karl Nonemaker's RBI single.
Vanderbilt starter Jeremy Sowers (3-5) took the loss.
Game two of the three game series is Saturday at 4 p.m. Sunday's game is noon.
*Matt Goss became just the sixth player in Florida baseball history to register 20+ home runs, 100+ RBI and 30+ steals when he stole the 30th base of his career on a double steal in the seventh inning. The other five players to achieve that distinction are Brad Wilkerson, Mark Ellis, David Eckstein, Scott Ruskin and Mike Stanley. All five have played in the Major Leagues.
*David Bartelt earned his second consecutive victory in a career-high 4.1 innings pitched.
*Aaron Sobieraj's sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning was the 19th of his career. He now ranks tied for second on the all-time career sacrifice bunts list with Bruce Crabbe (1982-84). Sobieraj needs two more sacrifice bunts to break the record of 20 held by Mark Ellis (1996-99).
*Ryan Shealy has now hit four home runs in the last five games. He hit his SEC leading 17th of the year and the 33rd of his career.
*With its two home runs this evening, Florida has now hit 74 home runs this season. That total ranks fifth on the all-time season list.