A week ago Brady Singer was steaming mad after the game. With a handful of reporters around him Singer was short in his answers after dropping his first game of the season to Arkansas.
He stewed for a week and then took out that frustration on Vanderbilt Friday night in an 8-4 win.
After a rain delay just shy of two hours Singer dominated the Commodores (17-9, 5-2 SEC). The junior worked around a one-out walk in the first inning and retired the side. He struck out the side in the second inning before giving up the first hit of the game, a double, to lead off the third. Singer worked around that hit with two strikeouts and a groundout.
“I felt like I carried it all week, which I think helped a lot out on the mound tonight,” Singer said of the Arkansas game. “I just worked hard this week and focused on some different things after last outing.”
Vanderbilt starter Drake Fellows was doing his part to match Singer. He retired five in a row before a walk but worked around that. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Gators (23-5, 5-2 SEC) would get to him. Jonathan India started the fourth off with a bunt single.
“Craig (Bell) was actually looking at me and said the third baseman was back, why not try it out” said India. “It was my first one of the year. I’m lucky I got it down.”
Wil Dalton singled and both runners advanced to third on a wild pitch. JJ Schwarz lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Gators a 1-0
The Gators added another run in the fifth. Deacon Liput reached on an error and moved to third when Nelson Maldonado singled. He scored on a wild pitch.
Meanwhile, Singer retired nine in a row before hitting a batter to start the sixth inning. He worked around that and put another zero on the board.
“Just make some good pitches,” Singer said. “That’s something I try to do every time the leadoff batter gets on. Focus even more than I have been and make some really good pitches.”
Vanderbilt scored in the seventh, a home run on a hanging breaking ball, but Florida responded with a big, crooked number of its own.
A Keenan Bell walk and sac bunt left a runner on second. Bell scored when Liput doubled to right center. Liput came around on a Maldonado single and scored when Jonathan India launched a moon shot of a home run into the bleachers in left field. The home run is India’s 10th this season, matching his home run output from his first two seasons combined.
“I’m not trying to hit home runs by any means,” India insisted. “I just put a good swing on the ball and it carried.”
The home run made the score 6-1. Wil Dalton was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a walk, stole third and scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1.
With that lead, and Singer at 104 pitches, O’Sullivan made the move to Tommy Mace. The freshman struck out the first batter of the inning but Julian Infante reached on a wild pitch. Mace got another strikeout but gave up a single and a three-run home run to Stephen Scott. With the score at 7-4 O’Sullivan went to Byrne.
IN typical Byrne fashion he was out of the seventh on just four pitches before earning his seventh save of the season.
The Gators and Commodores will play tomorrow at noon on ESPNU.
Florida’s All-Time career saves leader
Michael Byrne picked up his seventh save of the season and the 26th of his career, setting a new career saves record for the Gators. The record was previously held by John Pricher (1988-92).
— Ryan Young (@RyanYoungSEC) March 31, 2018