Vanderbilt (39-8/15-6 SEC) completed a weekend sweep of Florida (23-23/10-11 SEC) with a 13-5
victory on Sunday afternoon at Charles Hawkins Field. The Commodores banged out
17 hits and used a career-high 11 strikeouts from junior Cody Crowell (2-1) to
keep pace with Arkansas
(35-12/15-6 SEC) atop the league standings.
3-2 lead, VU tallied five runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to
break the game open. Five different players drove in two runs for the home
team, led by 3-for-5 efforts from sophomore Pedro Alvarez and junior Alex
Feinberg. After missing the first two games of the series, senior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
returned to the Gator lineup and extended his hitting streak to 20 games by
going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a solo homer.
Gators seized a 1-0 lead in the first inning courtesy of a Commodore error. Freshman
Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee,
Fla.) and junior Jon Townsend (London,
Ky.) opened the game with
consecutive singles before LaPorta sent a potential
double play ball back to Crowell. However, the hurler threw the ball into
center field, enabling Figueroa to score the opening run. Crowell rebounded by
striking out senior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) and had senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
line into a double play.
After working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, freshman Billy Bullock (Valrico, Fla.) (2-5) yielded two runs on three
hits to Vanderbilt during the second frame. The right-hander issued a leadoff
walk to sophomore Jonathan White and freshman Andrew Giobbi
roped a one-out double down the left-field line to push White to third. Junior
David Macias dropped an RBI single into shallow center to even the score and Feinberg
put the hosts on top with a base-hit to right. Bullock stranded two runners by
fanning junior Dominic de la Osa
and had Alvarez ground out to short.
Ryan Flaherty provided Vanderbilt with a 3-1 lead by leading off the home part
of the third with his third homer. LaPorta answered
with his SEC-leading 17th round-tripper to start the fourth, the 71st blast of
his collegiate career and his first homer since April 14 at Arkansas. Senior Austin Pride (Longwood,
Fla.) smacked a one-out
single up the middle and moved into scoring position with his seventh theft of
the year. The Gators caught a break when freshman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.)
reached on a wild pitch following what would have been an inning-ending
strikeout. However, Crowell had freshman Matt
den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla.) fly out to center.
expanded their lead to 8-2 in the fourth on five runs, five hits and three Florida errors. Giobbi doubled off the left-field wall to start things off
and came across on Feinberg’s 12th two-bagger of the year with one down. A
throwing error by Leclerc on the relay throw allowed
the runner to occupy third and Alvarez and Flaherty followed with consecutive two-out
singles to give the Commodores a four-run margin and chase Bullock (3.2 IP, 10
H, 8 R, 5 ER). With sophomore Patrick
Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) on the mound, White reached on an error by Pisani to load the bases and junior Ryan Davis ripped a
two-run single for a six-run count.
fifth, UF trimmed the deficit to 8-3 on a two-out RBI single by LaPorta that Macias lost in the sun. Townsend had been
plunked with two down and scored all the way from first on the play. The
two-hit outing was LaPorta’s 19th multiple-hit effort
of the campaign.
came right back with three more runs on three hits and an error to build an 11-3
lead. Macias and Feinberg began the frame with back-to-back singles and a
fielder’s choice by de la Osa
plated Macias. de la Osa stole second and went to
third on a wild pitch and senior Steven
Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) replaced Keating (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2
R). The left-hander fanned Alvarez but then issued a free pass to Flaherty, who
stole second to give Vandy runners on second and
third. Porter struck out junior Shea Robin but uncorked a wild pitch that allowed
de la Osa to score. Junior
reliever Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) replaced
Porter (0.1 IP, 1 R) and yielded an infield RBI single to junior pinch hitter
Parker Hanks to bring in Flaherty.
two-out doubles by de la Osa
and Alvarez in the sixth boosted the Commodores’ lead to 13-3, Leclerc connected a two-out RBI single in the seventh to
end the afternoon for Crowell. The left-hander scattered nine hits and
permitted four runs (three earned), with 11 K and one walk. Figueroa made it
three-straight games with two hits with a one-out single and freshman Jake Hicks (Molino, Fla.)
delivered a pinch-hit single. Leclerc laced a single
into left center for his 22nd RBI, 19 coming in league play. Figueroa lofted a
bases-loaded sac fly in the eighth to finalize the 13-5 count. Florida returns home next weekend to host Western
Division rival Alabama
at McKethan Stadium.