No. 8 Florida takes series vs. Vanderbilt with 9-7 victory in 10th inning
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After some early fireworks and a back-and-forth game, Florida (38-14, 17-10 SEC) scored five unanswered runs to earn a 9-7 victory in 10 innings against Vanderbilt (36-16, 18-9) on Saturday afternoon in Nashville. Freshman JJ Schwarz had a game-tying, two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning and the Gators scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning for the win.
Florida didn’t waste any time getting on the board Saturday. Richie Martin drew a one-out walk and Josh Tobias followed with a single to center field. Buddy Reed came up with two outs and smashed a fastball the opposite way over the left field wall for a three-run homer.
Vanderbilt responded in the bottom half of the inning. Lead off man Ro Coleman singled through the right side to start things off, then shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a home run to straightaway center field to cut the Gators lead to 3-2.
The Commodores took a 4-3 lead after a pair of solo home runs, the first by Rhett Wiseman in the third inning and another by Swanson, his second of the game, in the fifth inning.
The Gators tied the game in the top of the seventh. Mike Rivera led off with a single to right field and Dalton Guthrie drew a one-out walk to put a runner in scoring position. Martin then singled to left field and Rivera raced around to score, avoiding the tag with his slide and getting a hand on the plate to score the tying run.
Vanderbilt answered immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Wiseman hit a one-out single past Guthrie at second base and Swanson followed with a deep shot to right field that Ryan Larson misplayed, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Bryan Reynolds drew a walk and Wiseman scored from third to give Vanderbilt a 5-4 lead. Will Toffey followed with a ground rule double that plated two runs for a 7-4 advantage.
Florida got a few back in the eighth with a pair of runs to cut into the Commodores lead. Pete Alonso singled to center and scored on a triple by Schwarz into the right field corner. Larson atoned for his error with a two-out single to bring the Gators within a run, 7-6.
In the ninth, Florida put together a two-out rally to tie the game at 7-7. Reed’s single up the middle got things started and Alonso walked to put Reed in scoring position. Schwarz then tied the game with an RBI single to right field.
Taylor Lewis, who entered in the eighth, shut out the Commodores in the ninth to set up extra innings and Florida kept its momentum going. A one-out double by Guthrie set the stage for Martin, who singled into left field. After an air-mailed throw ended in the Gators dugout on Martin’s single, Guthrie scored and Martin advanced to third base. Tobias followed with a sac fly to provide an insurance run.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Lewis surrendered a leadoff single but then induced an important double play to erase the runner. A fly ball to left field ended the game. Lewis pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the win.