Saturday March 23, 2013No. 2 Vanderbilt Evens Series With Florida Baseball, 6-1
Sophomore right-hander Tyler Beede (6-0) threw 6.1 shutout innings as No. 2 Vanderbilt (20-4/4-1 SEC) notched a 6-1 victory over Florida (11-13/2-3 SEC) on Saturday night at Hawkins Field to square the teams’ weekend series. Junior Conrad Gregor was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and scored twice, senior Connor Harrell was 3-for-4 with two runs and senior Jack Lupo went 3-for-4 to lead the Commodores’ 15-hit offensive attack. Freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) delivered a pinch-hit RBI double in the ninth for the Gators.
Vanderbilt jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning with four two-out hits. Junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (0-4) retired the first two batters before Harrell singled into right field. Crawford was charged with a balk to move Harrell to second and Gregor opened the scoring with an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Sophomore Vince Conde (2-for-4, two runs) doubled off the wall overlooking left field to bring home Gregor and freshman Rhett Wiseman delivered a pinch-hit double into center field to score Conde for a 3-0 count. Wiseman slid past the bag at third base trying for a triple to end the inning.
The Commodores increased their lead to 4-0 in the third on Gregor’s second RBI single of the contest. Harrell had punched a one-out single into right field and moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Gregor sliced a 2-2 pitch from Crawford into right field to plate his teammate.
Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) collected Florida’s initial hit of the night with a base-hit into left field to start the fourth. He moved to second on a grounder by redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.). Beede responded by having sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) each fly out to left field.
The hosts threatened with two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the stanza but were held at bay by Crawford. Lupo had a one-out single and went to second on a grounder by junior Joel McKeithan. Junior Tony Kemp legged out an infield single for runners on the corner and then stole second base. Crawford kept the deficit at four runs by having senior Mike Yastrzemski line out to sophomore second baseman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.).
Sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) walked with one down in the fifth and swiped second with two down. However, Beede had Turgeon fly out to right field.
Junior Spencer Navin expanded Vanderbilt’s lead to 6-0 in the home part of the frame with a two-out, two-run double to straightaway center field. Gregor and Conde had back-to-back one-out singles and Crawford caught Wiseman looking on strikes to match his season high of six strikeouts set against Indiana on March 8. Navin cleared the bases with his third double of the campaign to provide the Commodores with a 6-0 margin.
Ramjit had a one-out single in the seventh and Tobias and Mitchell followed with walks to fill the bags full of Gators. Vanderbilt summoned junior Steven Rice from the bullpen for Beede (6.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 4 K) and the left-hander had sophomore pinch hitter Mike Fahrman (Tampa, Fla.) line into an inning-ending double play.
Freshman southpaw Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) took over for Crawford (6.0 IP, 12 H, 6 R, season-high 7 K) prior to the Commodores’ seventh at bat and surrendered a leadoff single to Harrell. After having Gregor fly out to right field, Danciu picked off Harrell and had Conde fly out to center field.
The Gators loaded the bases in the eighth but were stymied. Turgeon opened the inning with a base-hit up the middle and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) raised his hitting streak to eight games with a bunt single. A fielder’s choice by Shafer erased Bader at second base and Powers was hit by a pitch to load the sacks with one down. Rice worked out of the jam by having freshman Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) bounce into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Ramjit (2-for-3) led off the ninth with a single into center field, went to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a grounder by senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Roberson spoiled Vanderbilt’s bid for a shutout with a double down the right-field line for his first RBI in conference action. The Commodores wound up with a 15-6 advantage in hits.
Sophomore southpaw Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 2.01) will start for VU in tomorrow’s series finale at 1 p.m. ET against a Gator pitcher to be announced. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
· Florida dropped its first road outing of the season and is now 3-1.
· The Gators will be playing a decisive third game in SEC play for the second weekend in a row.
· Sophomore Connor Mitchell had his second stolen base of the season in the fifth inning.
· Junior Jonathon Crawford had a season-high seven strikeouts, the most by a Gator pitcher this spring.
· The Gators and Commodores played mistake-free baseball tonight.
· Freshman Parker Danciu and redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes each pitched one scoreless frame.