Baseball loses opener to Vandy

Vanderbilt junior All-American David Price (8-0) registered 13 strikeouts and threw 7.2 innings of scoreless ball on Friday night as the top-ranked Commodores (37-8/13-6 SEC) defeated Florida (23-21/10-9 SEC), 10-1, in the teams’ series opener at Charles Hawkins Field. The left-hander allowed only an eighth-inning RBI single by freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) (2-for-4) was supported by an offense that produced 15 hits, including seven as part of a seven-run seventh.

Junior Dominic de la Osa was 3-for-3 with a homer, two doubles and scored four runs, while sophomore Pedro Alvarez went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Price limited the Gators to four hits over eight innings before junior Tyler Rhoden struck out the side in the ninth.

The Gators threatened in the first, as senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) roped a two-out double down the left-field line to advance classmate Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) to third. However, Price struck out sophomore Cody Neer (Orlando, Fla.) for his initial K of the night.

In the bottom of the frame, Alvarez put the Commodores on the board with a two-out RBI single up the middle off freshman Kyle Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.). The right-hander had retired the first two hitters he faced before de la Osa stroked a double to right center. Alvarez followed with a base-hit to drive in his team-leading 46th run.

Vanderbilt went ahead 2-0 on a solo homer to left by de la Osa with one down in the fourth. The blast over the left-field wall was the junior’s 12th of the campaign.

Mullaney worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to keep Florida down by two runs. Junior Shea Robin led off with a base-hit into right center and senior Matt Meingasner and freshman Andrew Giobbi delivered consecutive one-out singles to load the bases. Mullaney induced a ground ball by junior David Macias to shortstop Figueroa that was converted into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Figueroa punched a one-out single to left in the sixth and advanced to second on a fielding error by Giobbi on a throw over to first base. Price fanned junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) to reach double digits in strikeouts and had Leclerc ground out to keep the Gators off the scoreboard.

The hosts expanded their lead to 3-0 in the home part of the frame. A double by de la Osa with one down ended the night for Mullaney (2-1), who scattered seven hits and was charged with three runs in his collegiate starting debut. Senior Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.) uncorked a wild pitch and Neer had an errant throw on the relay to third to allow de la Osa to come across. Alvarez rifled a single into right and moved into scoring position on another wild pitch. Junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) stranded the runner by having Robin tap out to second.

The Commodores sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh and exploded for seven runs on seven hits to build a 10-0 margin. Sophomore Jonathan White opened with a knock up the middle and Meingasner smoked a double into the left-field corner. Giobbi’s second hit of the contest cleared the bases and prompted a pitching change, as senior Kris Gawriluk (Deltona, Fla.) took over for Edmondson (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R). Junior Alex Feinberg singled with one down to advance Giobbi and a wild pitch nudged both runners into scoring position. A walk to de la Osa filled the bags and Alvarez’s two-run double to left resulted in a 7-0 lead and another pitching move. Sophomore Ryan Flaherty greeted freshman Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) with a two-run double for a nine-run Commodore lead and went to third on a wild pitch. Junior Parker Hanks came through with a pinch-hit RBI single to plate Flaherty with VU’s final run.

Figueroa helped the Gators avert the shutout with a two-out single in the eighth that scored freshman Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). den Dekker had drawn a one-out walk from Price, the lefty’s lone free pass of the game. Vanderbilt enjoyed a 15-4 advantage in hits, with four players recording multi-hit efforts. Florida will send junior RHP Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.) (4-4, 5.96) to the hill tomorrow at 4 p. m. on Sun Sports against freshman LHP Mike Minor (7-0, 2.00).

Courtesy UF Sports Info