Friday May 9, 2014No. 8 Florida Baseball Claims Series Opener Over No. 10 Vanderbilt, 1-0
Freshman right-hander Logan Shore and junior left-hander Bobby Poyner combined on a two-hit shutout as Florida downed Vanderbilt, 1-0, Thursday night at McKethan Stadium.
Shore (7-2) yielded two singles over 7.1 innings and registered a career-high eight strikeouts to capture his fourth-straight start, while Poyner set down all five batters he faced to collect his fourth save. No. 8 Florida (34-16/19-6 SEC) established a school record with its 12th-consecutive victory in league play and now leads the SEC by 3.5 games over No. 14 Ole Miss. UF posted its seventh shutout of the campaign in taking the series opener from the No. 10 Commodores (36-14/14-11 SEC).
Junior Taylor Gushue drove in the game’s lone run in the first inning with a two-out RBI single off of junior Tyler Beede (7-6). Sophomore Richie Martin drew a walk with one down, went to second on a grounder by sophomore Harrison Bader and scored on Gushue’s team-leading 42nd RBI.
Although Florida loaded the bases with one out in the third inning on a leadoff walk by junior Casey Turgeon, a fielder’s choice by Martin and a walk to Gushue, Beede used consecutive strikeouts to end the frame.
UF threatened again in the sixth, as freshman Peter Alonso drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double by freshman Buddy Reed into center field. However, Alonso was tagged out between home and third on a fielder’s choice by freshman Josh Sternagel and Beede had Turgeon fly out to keep the Commodores down by a run.
Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan
“It starts with Logan Shore. He was outstanding on the mound. His arm looked fresh tonight. On a short week, the fastball came out of his hand well, he located both sides of the plate, his change-up was outstanding and he threw some quality breaking balls. This is the best he’s thrown all year and he’s thrown some really good ones. That was a really good start and (Bobby) Poyner was outstanding as well. This is one of those games where we scored one in the first and neither team scored again for the rest of the game. Taylor (Gushue) came out with a big knock in the first inning and that ended up being the difference. Not a whole lot of margin for error in this game. We played great defense and so did Vanderbilt. It’s one of those games where both teams pitched very well, played great defense and it came down to both teams making a lot of quality pitches throughout the game.”
On left-hander Bobby Poyner’s pitching performance tonight:
“He threw the ball really well in the eighth (inning) . They have good base-running and we want to control the running game a little bit. That’s the freshest his arm has looked as well. He threw a clean eighth and the top of the order was coming up. (Dansby) Swanson can run, Xavier Turner has some stolen bases and (Bryan) Reynolds can run. It was a situation where if somebody got on we wanted to neutralize the running game.”
On Logan Shore’s effort tonight:
“He just throws a lot of strikes. He has really good arm speed on his secondary pitches and he has a fastball. He hits 90-92 miles per hour. He’s been really good but tonight was a little extra special. I thought he was on point, his arm looked fresh and his command was really good tonight.”
Freshman right-hander Logan Shore
On winning 12-straight games in the SEC:
“It’s really special. When we beat Alabama on Sunday, we obviously knew that was 11 in a row. We weren’t really thinking about that coming out today. We were just trying to play hard and do the best we could. It turned out well.”
On the Gators’ defense:
“The defense was awesome. I’m really confident if the ball gets put in the air or on the ground, a play is going to be made. It’s really nice knowing that.”
Junior catcher Taylor Gushue
On driving in the only run of the night:
“It felt great. I didn’t know it would be the only one since it was so far in the beginning. We had some opportunities that we missed, but we’ll learn from it and hopefully we can get them again tomorrow.”
On the pitching of Logan Shore tonight:
“He was really good tonight. He was hitting spots and executing all of his pitches. He made big pitches when we needed him to and zero runs were the result. It was awesome; he did a great job.”
On setting the school record of 12-straight SEC wins:
“To get 12 wins in a row in the SEC is amazing. Just playing in this conference, it’s hard to win a game, not to mention 12 in a row. Logan has been a big part of that. The best thing about our team, though, is that it’s not just one guy. Everyone is contributing. Everyone competes; that’s just how our team works.”
· The Gators improved to 14-6 in one-run games.
· Florida is also 14-6 against ranked teams, including 9-1 versus top-10 foes.
· Logan Shore’s previous career high for strikeouts was seven against Florida Gulf Coast on Feb. 27. The right-hander had retired nine-straight before allowing a two-out infield single in the fifth.
· Shore has not allowed a run in 13.1 innings of work. In nine SEC starts this season, Shore has limited opponents to 13 runs in 79.1 innings of work.
· Taylor Gushue drove in his team-leading 42nd RBI of the season in the first inning.
· Bobby Poyner entered the game with one out in the eighth and recorded a five-out save. Poyner struck out three of the five batters he faced.
· Richie Martin stole second base in the fifth, making him 15-for-17 on the year in stolen base opportunities.
· Buddy Reed belted his sixth double of the season with one out and a runner on in the sixth. Reed later stole his fourth base of the year in the eighth.
· The Gators moved to 12-1 at home in SEC and have won 10-straight conference games at McKethan.
· Florida is 10-3 against SEC East opponents.
· Shore and Poyner combined for the Gators’ seventh shutout this season.
· UF is 20-3 this year when the starting pitcher goes five innings or more and 23-5 when scoring the game’s first run.
· The Orange and Blue are 9-3 in the first game of a weekend series.
· Florida matched a season high by drawing 10 walks (LSU, 3/30).
The Gators and Commodores will meet in game two tomorrow at 7 p.m. and it will be streamed on GatorVision with Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert.
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