Dores fall to Gators to even series

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 10 Florida evened the series with No. 9 Vanderbilt with a 7-3 win on Friday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (36-15, 18-8) raced out to an early lead in the first inning thanks to Bryan Reynolds’ RBI-single up the middle, but the Gators (37-14, 16-10) bounced back with a two-run homer from J.J. Schwarz in the second and tacked on another run with a solo homer from Harrison Bader in the third to take a 3-1 lead.

Vandy rallied in the bottom of the third to climb within a run on Will Toffey’s two-out, RBI-double. Florida starter A.J. Puk, however, did not allow the Commodores to get any closer as the big lefty turned in four hitless innings to finish off his night, retiring the final nine batters he faced to earn his seventh win of the season. Puk struck out 12 and allowed two runs on five hits.

The Dores’ bullpen kept VU in the game until the eighth inning when the Gators scored two runs without the benefit of a hit. The Commodores walked two batters, hit two more and made an error in the inning leading to two runs before Tyler Ferguson finished the mess with a strikeout of Schwarz.

Vanderbilt starter Philip Pfeifer took the loss allowing five runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings. The lefty walked three and struck out five in his fourth loss of the season. Zander Wiel scored two of the Dores’ runs and hit his 11th home run of the season to match Rhett Wiseman for the team lead.

Schwarz led the Gators’ attack with three hits and two RBI as seven different players accounted for the team’s seven runs.

Vanderbilt and Florida will play for the series tomorrow at noon on SEC Network. Junior Walker Buehler gets the ball for the Commodores against Florida’s freshman right-hander Alex Faedo.