Sunday win gives Florida sweep over Vanderbilt

Nashville, Tenn. - Florida scored four runs in the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie and defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores 6-3 Sunday in front of a sellout crowd at Hawkins Field. With the win, the Gators clinched their first Southeastern Conference baseball title since 1998.

The Gators scored two in the third inning when Brian Jeroloman hit a two-run RBI single through the right side scoring Jeff Corsaletti and Adam Davis. Corsaletti reached on a single to the shortstop and moved to second when Davis drew a walk. Matt LaPorta lined out to Alex Feinberg at third base, but Feinberg overthrew first base advancing both runners.

The Commodores tied the game in their half of the inning when Mike Baxter hit a two-out two-run home run over the right field wall scoring Antoan Richardson who reached on a single up the middle. Prior to the game, Baxter was named the Jeff Peeples Most Valuable Player as selected by his teammates (see story below).

The Gators threatened in the fifth inning with bases loaded and no outs. Jared Kubin singled to centerfield and moved to second on a single by Corsaletti. Stephen Barton replaced Kubin at second as a pinch runner before Davis was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matt Buschmann replaced Ryan Mullins on the mound and forced LaPorta to fly out to left field. Vanderbilt left-fielder Stephen Shao threw a perfect strike to catcher Brian Hernandez at home to catch Barton out by three steps. With two away, Buschmann walked Jeroloman to load the bases again, but struck out Brandon McArthur looking to end the inning and strand the runners with no score.

Florida had one other runner thrown out at home in the seventh inning – again on a throw by Shao. LaPorta hit a double to left field, but Shao made the relay to Dominic de la Osa at shortstop who made another perfect throw catching Davis out at home as he tried to score from first base. Davis had reached on a single to right field.

The Commodores left two stranded in the seventh inning when David Macias reached on an error by Tordi at shortstop and Richardson walked.

Tordi began the ninth inning with a hit to left field. Left-hander Shao came in from left field to replac Buschmann on the mound and walked Barton and Corsaletti to load the bases. Tordi scored the game-winner when Shao threw a wild pitch. Davis flied out to centerfield and LaPorta was intentionally walked before Ryan Rote replaced Shao on the mound. With bases loaded, Rote walked Jeroloman scoring Barton. Brandon McArthur hit a fielder's choice blooper right over the pitchers mound scoring Corsaletti. The Gators scored their final run when LaPorta scored on a wild pitch by Rote.

The Commodores added one in the bottom of the ninth when Alex Feinberg hit an RBI single to right field scoring de la Osa who walked, moved to second on a ground out and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

The Commodores are 34-21 overall with a 13-17 mark in the SEC. With the loss, Vanderbilt ends the regular season in a three-way tie with Arkansas and Auburn in league standings. With a 3-0 series win over the Commodores, Arkansas earns the No. 8 seed in the tournament (see tiebreaker rule below).

Buschmann (4-3) picked up the loss for the Commodores pitching 4.0 relief innings giving up one run on four hits with three strikeouts. Mullins pitched the first four innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Shao went .1 inning giving up three runs walking three batters. Rote closed out the final .2 innings and walked one batter.

Mike Pete improved to 4-0 going 2.0 mid innings giving up one run and one walk. Connor Falkenbach earned his eighth save of the season giving up one hit in the final inning.


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