March 16, 2012
Gainesville, Fla. - Top-ranked Florida used a pair of big innings to top Vanderbilt 10-2 Friday night in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
The Commodores (7-11, 0-1) grabbed a two-run lead in the top of the fifth inning when Tony Kemp singled with two outs and stole second base before coming around to score on Anthony Gomez's single. The Gators (17-1, 1-0) answered in the bottom of the inning, sending nine men to the plate scoring five runs on five hits including four singles. Vandy starter Kevin Ziomek quickly ran into trouble loading the bases on a walk and two singles. A single from Tyler Thompson scored the first run and Nolan Fontana knocked in a run on a fielder's choice to tie the game. A balk with runners on the corners put the Gators ahead and Preston Tucker's single scored the fourth run of the inning. Mike Zunino capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to right field before Tony Kemp made a diving catch near the wall in left-center for the final out. Florida then put the game away with a four-run seventh inning.
Vanderbilt scratched out a run in the first when Mike Yastrzemski singled with two outs and scored on Conrad Gregor's first triple of the season. Gregor finished the night with two hits to lead the Dores. Connor Harrell added a triple of his own in the seventh. Daniel Pigott had three hits and Preston Tucker knocked in three runs for Florida.
Gators' starter Hudson Randall (3-0) earned the win working 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Ziomek (2-2) took the loss giving up five runs on six hits over 4.1 innings.
Vanderbilt and Florida play tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT with the game televised by CSS. The Commodores turn to right-hander Drew VerHagen against Gators' lefty Brian Johnson.