Sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) snapped a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the sixth inning as Florida (11-12/2-2 SEC) knocked off No. 2 Vanderbilt (19-4/3-1 SEC), 7-1, on Friday night at Hawkins Field in the opener of the weekend series between Eastern Division rivals.
Freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) (3-1) worked five strong innings for his first SEC win in his second collegiate start and combined on a three-hitter with freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1.2 IP) and sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2.1 IP). The Gators had multiple-hit efforts from freshmanHarrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (2-for-5), Gushue (2-for-3) and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-5) and handed Commodore junior lefty Kevin Ziomek (5-1) his first defeat after winning the first five starts of the campaign.
Ziomek retired the first seven Gator hitters on fly-outs before freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) drew one-out walk in the third inning. Ziomek picked Roberson off first base and then had sophomoreConnor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) ground out on a full count after a long at bat.
Carmichael retired nine-consecutive Commodores, highlighted by a tremendous catch in right field by sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) for the second out in the fourth. Senior Connor Harrell followed with a single up the middle for Vanderbilt’s first hit of the contest and then stole second base. After senior Mike Yastrzemski drew a walk, sophomore Vince Conde sliced an RBI single through the right side of the infield to bring in Harrell with the game’s opening run.
Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (three runs) and Gushue opened the fifth inning with back-to-back walks and Ziomek had sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) pop up a bunt attempt in foul territory. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) tied the game with a single down the left-field line that scored Ramjit but was thrown out in a run-down between first and second base. Roberson and Mitchell earned free passes to load the bases with two down and Ziomek kept the game tied by having a fielder’s choice by Turgeon force Mitchell at second to complete the frame.
Gushue provided the Gators with a 4-1 lead in the sixth with a three-run homer to left field. Bader led off with a bunt single to third base to raise his hitting streak to a career-high seven games and Shafer roped a ground-rule double that bounced over the right-field wall. Bader was thrown out at home plate on a grounder by Ramjit and Gushue made it two-straight contests with a homer by sending a 1-2 pitch from Ziomek out of the yard. It was Gushue’s second homer of the season and just the second surrendered by the left-hander. Tobias had a base-hit into center field for Florida’s fourth hit of the stanza before Ziomek retired Powers and Bader.
Senior Jack Lupo began the home part of the inning with a flare into center field, prompting a pitching change. Young took over for Carmichael (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 K, 3 BB) and had junior Conrad Gregor hit into a 3-6 double play before having Harrell fly out to right field.
Sophomore Jared Miller replaced Ziomek (6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 1 K) prior to the seventh and the Gators tacked on an insurance run on a fielder’s choice by Shafer. Turgeon delivered a one-out double into left field and a single by Bader resulted in runners on the corners. A grounder to shortstop by Shafer brought Turgeon home for a 5-1 score.
In the bottom of the frame, Young issued a one-out walk to Conde and then struck out freshman Rhett Wiseman before Harris was summoned from the bullpen and struck out junior Spencer Navin.
Helped by a pair of errors, the Gators increased their lead to 7-1 in the eighth. Ramjit began the inning by reaching on an error by Gregor and Miller (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R) was replaced by sophomore Adam Ravenelle. Gushue singled through the right side to put the Gators in business and Tobias drew a walk to fill the bags with none out. Although Powers grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Ramjit come home. Soon after, Roberson’s grounder was misplayed by junior shortstop Joel McKeithan, enabling Gushue to come in for a six-run advantage.
Florida had a 9-3 edge in hits and did not commit any errors in the victory.
Courtesy of UF Communications