The victory avenged a three-game sweep the Commodores suffered at McKethan Stadium last weekend to end the regular season.
The Gators will next face No. 7 seed South Carolina (37-20) on Thursday
at 11 a.m. in an elimination contest that will air live in Gainesville
on The CW, while VU will face No. 2 seed LSU (40-16-1) in a winner's
bracket game at 6 p.m. The Gamecocks dropped a 5-4 decision in 10
innings to the Western Division champion Tigers, who have now won 17
consecutive games. USC took two of three games from the Gators in
Columbia over the weekend of May 2-4.
Vanderbilt sophomore southpaw Mike Minor (6-3) went five innings for the
win, while freshman Russell Brewer collected his sixth save by
registering the final out with a pair of Gators on base. The Commodores
totaled 14 hits, all singles, as sophomore Andrew Giobbi and freshman
Steven Liddle were each 3-for-5. Seniors Brandon McArthur and Jon Townsend had two hits apiece for UF, which
left 14 runners on base and had its four-game winning streak halted.
Vanderbilt used a two-out RBI single by junior Ryan Flaherty off junior
Patrick Keating (8-1) in the first inning to open the
scoring. Senior Dominic de la Osa (2-for-4, two runs) was hit by a pitch
with one down and moved over on his team-leading 24th stolen base with
two out. Soon after, Flaherty sliced a single into left to put the
Commodores on the board.
The Gators answered in the home part of the inning on an RBI single by
sophomore Cole Figueroa to even the game. Junior
Avery Barnes led off with an infield hit off Minor
and moved into scoring position with his team-leading 26th theft.
Figueroa laced a one-out base-hit into left field for a 1-1 stalemate.
Helped by a UF error, the Commodores plated three runs on three hits in
the second to build a 4-1 lead. Liddle and Giobbi opened with
consecutive singles before senior Alex Feinberg hit a potential
double-play grounder. However, Townsend committed an error at second
base that allowed Liddle to score and Feinberg to reach. Junior Jonathan White moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt and senior David Macias singled through the left side for a two-run Vandy advantage. de
la Osa followed with an RBI grounder for a three-run Gator deficit.
Florida squandered an opportunity to edge closer in the third after
having two men aboard with one out. Barnes drew a one-out walk and
McArthur reached on an error by Flaherty at short. Minor caught Figueroa
looking on strikes and had a grounder by freshman Josh Adams
force McArthur at second to end the frame.
Vanderbilt loaded the bases with none out in the fourth and tacked on
another run. White started things off with a single, stole second and
Macias earned a free pass. A single by de la Osa filled the sacks and
junior Pedro Alvarez grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that scored
White. Keating prevented further trouble by having Flaherty fly out to
The Gators also packed the bases with two down in the bottom of the
inning but came away empty-handed. Townsend walked and freshman Riley Cooper was plunked with two down before sophomore
Hampton Tignor reached on a fielding error by Alvarez.
Minor worked out of the jam by striking out Barnes.
Macias lofted a sacrifice fly in the sixth to put Vanderbilt in front by
a 6-1 score. Feinberg led off with a walk and raced to third on a flare
into right by White. Although Macias was robbed off a hit by sophomore
center fielder Matt den Dekker, the ball was deep enough to score the ‘Dores sixth run.
The Gators closed to within 6-3 in the sixth but left the bases full.
Townsend stroked a single up the middle and sophomore Buddy Munroe
walked to end the afternoon for Minor (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R).
Sophomore Drew Hayes (3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R) came in and fanned Cooper before
Tignor punched a base-knock to score Townsend. Barnes grounded out to
advance both teammates into scoring position and McArthur's second hit
of the day brought in Munroe with Florida's third run. A walk to
Figueroa loaded the bags and Hayes jammed Adams on a pop-up to increase
the home team's total to 10 runners left on base.
Keating departed after six innings in which he allowed nine hits and a
career-high six runs (five earned) to endure his first loss since May 25
of last season against South Carolina. Sophomore Tony Davis threw 1.1 scoreless innings and was replaced by sophomore
Kyle Mullaney in the eighth.
Mullaney recorded the final two outs of that inning and was lifted for
junior J.K. LaCoste after allowing a single to de
la Osa to start the ninth. Alvarez advanced his teammate to third with a
single into right field and Flaherty grounded into a 4-6-3 double play
to score de la Osa with Vanderbilt's final run. Sophomore Clint Franklin
recorded the final out in the ninth after LaCoste gave
up two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The Commodores ended a five-game losing streak with the triumph, while
UF fell on the first day of the SEC Tourney for the second-straight year
after falling to South Carolina, 4-3, in 12 innings last year. den
Dekker's 13-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance.
Gators Drop SEC Opener
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