Friday April 30, 1999Wood's Home Run Helps Florida to 5-4 Win
Taylor Wood hit his first career home run in the ninth inning to help Florida to a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Vanderbilt in the first game of the important Southeastern Conference series at McGugin Field in Nashville. Florida, which trailed 4-0 early in the game, recorded its 20th come-from-behind win of the season to improve to 28-18, 10-12 in SEC with its third consecutive win.
Wood, who had a career-high four hits on the night, hit a 2-0 pitch from Chris Maultsby (1-6) to complete Floridas comeback effort. He also had a pair of singles and a double. Senior Ben Grezlovski held Vanderbilt scoreless over the final 4.2 innings to help the comeback effort, picking up his ninth win of the season.
"We are at the point where every game is important," said Head Coach Andy Lopez. "It was good to see us comeback and win."
Grezlovski allowed just three hits on the night, extending his scoreless inning streak to 15.2 innings.
"Ben has been very consistent for us," said Lopez. "Hopefully, he can keep it going."
While the overall pitching effort for UF was good, it didnt start out well. Vanderbilt knocked starter Jeff Cardozo for four runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings. It was the 12th consecutive Southeastern Conference game that the Gator starter has failed to pitch five innings.
Vanderbilt scored two runs each in the second and third innings to jump out a 4-0 advantage on Florida. Commodore catcher Andy Kropf and Aaron Fausett had back-to-back singles in the second inning, scoring on a two-run double by DH Aaron Diehl. Vanderbilt plated two more runs in the third on run-scoring doubles by Hunter Bledsoe and Andy Kropf.
Vanderbilt got a strong performance from right-hander Mike Byrd, who held UF to two runs over 6.2 innings. After walking the bases loaded in the first and escaping without allowing a run, Byrd settled to hold UF to just six hits. He pitched out of several tough situations as UF left nine runners on base over the first six innings, failing to take advantage of Byrds seven walks.
Junior reliever Damon Yee came into the game in the seventh for Vanderbilt with runners on first and third. After a passed ball put the tying run on second in scoring position, Yee walked Ryan Shealy before getting Matt Siegel to ground out with the bases loaded.
Florida, which left 15 runners on base in the game, tied the score in the eighth with a pair of runs. Wood led off the inning with a single, followed by a single by Matt Goss. Wood scored on an error by Vanderbilt shortstop Matt Kata, while Goss tied the game by scoring on a Kurt Keene single. Florida would go onto load the bases before reliever Maultsby struck out both Pete Nystrom and Ryan Shealy to end the rally.
Sophomore Pete Nystrom got Florida on the board in the fourth on a solo home run, adding a run-scoring double one inning later. After a pair of two-out walks, Nystrom lined a double off the extended fence in left field
The two teams will play the second game of the series Saturday at 7 p.m. at Greer Stadium, the home of the Nashville Sounds. The Sounds are the Triple A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The series returns to the Vanderbilt campus on Sunday at McGugin Field.