Sunday March 24, 2013No. 2 Vanderbilt Rallies To Take Series Finale Over Florida Baseball, 5-4
Sophomore John Norwood delivered a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning to lift No. 2 Vanderbilt (21-4/5-1 SEC) to a 5-4 win over Florida (11-14/2-4 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field. The game was shortened to seven innings because of the Gators’ travel plans.
Lightning and assorted weather issues caused a delay at 1:21 p.m. CT and the game resumed at 2:10 p.m. CT after a delay of 49 minutes, with UF holding a 4-2 advantage. The Commodores scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and senior Mike Yastrzemski (2-for-3, three runs) scored what proved to be the winning run on an infield single by Norwood to give the hosts the series victory. Sophomore Brian Miller (3-0) threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
With the contest deadlocked at four runs apiece entering the bottom of the seventh and the travel time limit approaching, Yastrzemski led off with a double high off the wall in left field. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (3-2) rebounded with a strikeout of senior Connor Harrell for the first out. Junior Conrad Gregor was walked intentionally for two runners aboard and Harris induced a pop up by sophomore Vince Conde for the second out. Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) took over for Harris (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R) and Norwood beat out an infield single to shortstop. With Yastrzemski running from second base on the play, he slid home ahead of the relay throw by senior first baseman Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) to give the Commodores a 5-4 lead. Although Gibson struck out junior Spencer Navin, it was past the travel curfew and the contest ended.
Vanderbilt had seized a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. With one down, Yastrzemski legged out an infield single, Harrell was hit by a pitch and Gregor drew a walk to load the bases against freshman starter Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.). A fielder’s choice by Conde brought in Yastrzemski and forced Gregor at second base for the second out. Hanhold (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R) walked freshman pinch hitter Rhett Wiseman to re-fill the bags and was replaced by sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.). Navin drew the first walk permitted by Magliozzi this season to give the Commodores a 2-0 lead and the righty responded by having senior Jack Lupo fly out to right field.
Sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) opened the second inning with a homer over the wall in left field off of sophomore Philip Pfeifer. It was his third round-tripper of the weekend and second of the series.
The Gators tallied three runs on four hits in the fourth to grab a 4-2 advantage. Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) tied the game with a towering homer that grazed the scoreboard above the left-field wall. It was his third big fly of the campaign, first since March 19 versus North Florida. Ramjit followed with a base-hit into center field and Gushue walked for two Gators aboard with none out. Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) beat out an infield single to load the bases and redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) (2-for-3) moved the Gators in front with an RBI single into left field to end the afternoon for Pfeifer (3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R). Freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) then earned a free pass from freshman Carson Fulmer to score Gushue for a 4-2 lead. Fulmer prevented further problems by striking out sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) and having sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
After Florida did not score when play resumed, Magliozzi caught junior Tony Kemp looking on strikes to begin the Commodores’ fifth and Yastrzemski followed with a walk. A throwing error by Powers on a grounder by Harrell trying to get Yastrzemski at second base resulted in Vanderbilt with runners on the corners. Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) replaced Magliozzi (3.2 IP, 1 H) and came through with a key strikeout of Gregor before Harris came to the mound. Harrell stole second with two down for two runners in scoring position and Harris was called for a balk to bring home Yastrzemski for a 4-3 score. Shafer made a running grab in foul territory on a ball hit by Conde to end the inning.
The Commodores tied the game on a two-out single in the sixth by freshman pinch hitter Xavier Turner. Navin had drawn a one-out walk and went to second on a grounder by Lupo. A wild pitch by Harris advanced Navin to third base and Turner legged out an infield single to shortstop to bring home Navin with the tying run.
The Gators will face No. 5 Florida State (22-2/7-2 ACC) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in the second of three regular-season meetings. The Share A Little Sunshine Showdown, Florida vs. Florida State Game is presented by Visit Florida. Share a Little Sunshine is Visit Florida’s campaign to encourage all Floridians to invite their friends and families to Florida to boost tourism and help our state’s economy. The game will be available on FOX Sports Florida in Gainesville, Channel 70 and Channel 1070 HD, with Nick Belmonte and Larry Vettel and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.