The No. 8 Florida Gators took game one of their series against the No. 10 Vanderbilt Commodores, but were not able to finish off the division rival as Vanderbilt won the last two games to claim the series. Florida remains in first place in the division and the conference overall despite dropping two of three and is good shape with just one regular season series left on the schedule.
On Friday night, the Gators continued to struggle with the bats, while Vanderbilt was able to put the bat on the ball. Florida managed only four hits in the game to the Commodore’s nine as UF lost 3-0.
Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer (4-1) threw a complete game shutout and tallied eight strikeouts.
Dane Dunning (1-1) suffered the loss for Florida giving up one run in one inning when he replaced starter Danny Young after three innings. Kirby Snead pitched the final 4.2 innings and did not allow a run.
Richie Martin, Harrison Bader, Zack Powers, and John Sternagel all had a hit for the Gators.
Florida had its SEC school-record 12-game winning streak ended. It was also only the second game all season that an opponent was able to hold the Gators scoreless.
Saturday was Senior Day for three Gators – Keenan Kish, Zack Powers, and Karsten Whitson. They were honored in a pre-game ceremony, but it was the high point in a game where Florida allowed 16 runs and committed three errors.
The Gators dropped the grudge match and series finale to Vanderbilt 16-2. Tyler Ferguson (7-3) got the win after going 5.0 innings and giving up no runs on two hits. Whitson (1-1) took the loss. He gave up five runs on two hits and three walks in just 0.1 IP.
The Commodores scored eight runs in the first and four runs in the sixth en route to their 14-run victory.
Florida finally scored in the eighth inning when Richie Martin belted a solo home run. In the ninth, Buddy Reed singled to center field to score Peter Alonso.
Martin and Harrison Bader each collected two hits on the day, and Reed finished the game 3-4 with an RBI.
The Gators will wrap up their regular season home schedule on Tuesday against the South Florida Bulls. USF (26-24) lost their weekend series to Rutgers. It hopefully won’t be the last home game of the season for Florida as it looks to host a regional round of the NCAA tournament in the upcoming weeks.