The No. 8 Florida Gators (34-16) defeated the No. 10 Vanderbilt Commodores (36-14) in a battle of top-10 SEC teams on Thursday night at McKethan Stadium. It an important series for both teams, the Gators out slugged the Commodores by a single run; there were only five hits total in the game.
In the bottom half of the first inning, the Gators scored the game’s only run when shortstop Richie Maritn scored on an RBI single from catcher Taylor Gushue. Martin had walked and advanced to second base on a groundout before scoring on the hit from Gushue.
What looked to have possibly been a high-scoring affair came to an abrupt halt. After the Gators came to bat in the first and collected two hits, there wasn’t another hit by either team until the fifth inning. The last hit of the game came in the sixth inning from the Gators.
It was a pitcher’s duel that Florida came away with the upper hand. Florida starter Logan Shore (7-2) continued his outstanding year and came away with the victory after allowing only two hits and no runs with eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Junior LHP Bobby Poyner picked up the save, his fourth of the 2014 campaign.
Junior Tyler Beede (7-6) pitched a great game for Vanderbilt, giving up only three hits and one run with six strikeouts in six innings. The run proved to be enough to hit Beede with the loss.
Gushue, right fielder Zack Powers, and left fielder Buddy Reed had the three hits for Florida. Gushue , Martin, and Reed also had two walks each, as the Gators totaled ten free passes from Commodore pitchers during the game.
Florida improved to 9-1 against top-10 opponents this season as they boast one of the country’s top RPI schedules. This was the seventh shutout for the Gators and the 10th straight conference home victory. Home field advantage has definitely been a factor with a 12-1 record at home in the SEC.
Game two will be Friday night at 7 PM. Sophomore Carson Fulmer (3-1) is scheduled to pitch for Vanderbilt. Florida’s starter is TBA.