Gainesville, Fla. – No. 11 Vanderbilt could not keep pace with No. 1 Florida Sunday afternoon in a 10-6 series finale loss at McKethan Stadium.
The Gators (43-9, 18-8) jumped on the Commodores (37-15, 15-12) and starter Patrick Raby in the first inning with Deacon Liput belting a two-out, three-run homer to give the home team an early lead. The Commodores answered back in the third inning with four runs to take the lead. Tyler Campbell’s leadoff double started the inning and was followed by singles from Ro Coleman and Jeren Kendall with Kendall’s first hit of the weekend scoring Campbell. Bryan Reynolds put the Dores in front with his team-leading 11th home run of the season with a three-run shot over the bleachers in left field to make it 4-3.
The Vanderbilt lead, however, was short-lived as the Gators answered Vanderbilt’s four runs in the third with three of their own to chase Raby. John Kilichowski entered from the bullpen and settled the inning down but not before allowing Florida to take a 6-4 lead. The Commodores answered immediately with two runs to tie the game in the fourth inning. Back-to-back doubles from Jason Delay and Ethan Paul put runners on second and third for freshman Connor Kaiser, who delivered with a single to score both runs and bring VU back even at 6-6. The Commodores’ offense went cold from there, however, recording just two hits over the final five innings.
Kilichowski took the loss out of the bullpen allowing two runs on three hits over two innings. Raby struggled in the shortest start of his career, allowing six runs on six hits over just 2.1 innings. Delay led the Commodores’ offensive attack with two hits as eight different Dores posted hits in the loss.
Florida starter Alex Faedo earned the win despite allowing six runs on eight hits over six innings. Dalton Guthrie paced the Gators with three hits. The first six batters in the UF lineup each drove in runs and posted 11 of the team’s 13 hits.
Vanderbilt returns home to Hawkins Field on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to host Morehead State to begin the final week of the regular season.