Florida takes down Vanderbilt
Rodriguez seals win, records final 10 outs on Tuesday
OMAHA, Neb. -Florida’s Steven Rodriguez pitched no-hit relief for 4 1/3 innings and the Gators finished a 3-1 victory over Vanderbilt on Tuesday in the completion of a College World Series game suspended because of inclement weather.
Rodriguez (4-2) retired three batters before high winds and heavy rain disrupted the game in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night. He struck out six of the 11 batters he faced Tuesday. He finished with seven strikeouts and walked one.
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Monday's Box Scores:
North Carolina 3, Texas 0
Florida 3, Vanderbilt 1
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Florida’s Preston Tucker hit a three-run homer off Vandy’s Grayson Garvin (13-2) in the fourth inning. Anthony Gomez’s had an RBI single in the fifth for the Commodores.
Florida (52-17) needs a win over Vanderbilt or North Carolina on Friday to reach the best-of-three finals. The Commodores and Tar Heels will meet Wednesday in an elimination game.
Rodriguez worked the outside corner and mixed in a fastball in the low 90s to shut down a Vanderbilt club that came into the CWS as the field’s top-hitting team and No. 5 nationally with a .319 average.
It took only 44 minutes to play the last 3 1-3 innings. Rodriguez struck out Jason Esposito to finish the sixth, then started the seventh with a three-pitch strikeout of Conrad Gregor.
Rodriguez only allowed Connor Harrell to reach base, on a walk.
Garvin, the Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year, held the Gators hitless through three innings. He walked Nolan Fontana with one out in the fourth and Mike Zunino followed with an infield single before Tucker sent Garvin’s 2-1 pitch into the seats above the right-field bullpen.
Tucker has five homers, six doubles and 18 RBIs in his last eight games.
Florida starter Karsten Whitson held Vanderbilt scoreless after the Commodores had a runner on third base in both the first and third innings.
The Commodores broke through in the fifth. Harrell singled with one out and Tony Kemp drew a two-out walk before Gomez singled to left center, chasing Whitson and bringing on Rodriguez.
Dark clouds moved in from the south and winds began picking up in the bottom of the sixth Monday night. Tornado sirens were heard as Mike Yastrzemski flied out to left field. No tornado warning was issued for the Omaha area, however.
Home plate umpire Jim Garman looked to his left and right after that play, apparently looking for a sign to stop play, but he allowed Jason Esposito to begin his at-bat. Umpires waved players off the field after Rodriguez’s first pitch to Esposito.