Gators drop game one to Vandy, 11-7
The Florida Gators fought back in the later innings but it wasn't enough. Two innings in and the game was essentially over after Franco Alemán and the Florida Gators spotted No. 2 Vanderbilt and Kumar Rocker six runs before recording six outs.
"It just felt like once we fell behind 2-0 we just never got a hold of the game again," Kevin O'Sullivan said. "Going back to guys like Hudson Randall, Logan Shore, Alex Faedo, and Brady Singer, you know all the guys that we've had through here, when they pitched on Friday nights, you know it's Florida-Vandy. I didn't think the emotion was right on the mound."
Alemán has been on a roller coaster since moving to Friday nights. He was awful in his first outing against Missouri, allowing five runs over 3.1 innings but bounced back with a strong outing against Auburn, throwing six scoreless. Tonight wasn't his night right form the start. The junior college transfer walked the first two batters of the game on 10 pitches. CJ Rodriguez opened the scoring with a two-RBI single.
Vanderbilt broke things wide open in top of the second. Tate Kolwyck led off with a double and senior Jayson Gonzalez followed with a single, advancing Kowlyck to third. Enrique Bradfield Jr. bunted, scoring Kolwyck. A strikeout, hit batter, and double later Vandy held a 5-0 lead and would score one more run in the frame to make it 6-0.
Florida finally got to Rocker in the fourth inning when Kris Armstrong launched a towering 400-foot home run over the wall in right field, but it only drew Florida to within five runs.
The Gators scored in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but as they have all season, allowed their opponent to score immediately following their own runs.
"They know. Bottom line is often time we give up runs it's ball one, ball two. We've gotta throw stikes early in the count to the leadoff hitter," O'Sullivan said. "They find themselves in offensive counts and force us to throw fastballs and guys are getting good swings off. It's just that simple. it starts from the beginning of the inning."
To Florida's credit, the offense had a good game against one of the best starting pitchers and pitching staffs in the country. Florida tallied 21 total bases on 13 hits and scored seven runs.
Tommy Mace will take the mound tomorrow night at 6:30, looking to help Florida even the series.