Vandy falls in SEC Championship game

HOOVER, Ala. – No. 9 Vanderbilt fell behind early and never found footing in a 7-3 loss to No. 6 Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship game at a soggy Hoover Met on Sunday.

The game was interrupted twice by rain with the two delays totaling nearly three hours to push an afternoon game well into the night. The Gators (44-16) took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the third inning but a leadoff double from Karl Ellison and one-out single from Rhett Wiseman put the Commodores (42-19) on the board and cut the deficit to three. With Dansby Swanson at the plate, the second storm of the day arrived and delayed the game for over two hours.

Back from the delay, the Commodores’ third inning fizzled as Swanson struck out and Wiel grounded out to third to strand Wiseman at third base. Vandy climbed a run closer in the fourth on an Ellison RBI-single but the Gators tacked on two more runs in the fifth to push their lead back out to four runs. Reliver Ben Bowden, in his second inning of work, gave up a leadoff single to Peter Alonso and a one-out double to Mike Rivera to put Gators at second and third. A single off Bowden’s glove brought home Alonso before a wild pitch scored Rivera for four-run UF lead.

The Dores were limited to just four hits over the final four innings, putting multiple runners on only once in the ninth inning.

Ryan Johnson took his first loss of the season allowing four runs on six hits over 1.2 innings. Kyle Wright was solid out of the pen working 3.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Ellison led the Commodores at the plate with three hits with Coleman adding two more.

Danny Young earned the win with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief for the Gators, striking out three and allowing only one hit. Buddy Reed paced the Florida offense with three hits.

Following the game five Commodores were named to the All-Tournament team with Zander Wiel, Will Toffey, Jeren Kendall, Bryan Reynolds and Swanson all getting the nod.

The Commodores are set to host a NCAA Regional for the fourth time in five years at Hawkins Field beginning Friday. The 64-team field will be announced on ESPNU tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT. The Dores will host their annual selection show party at the Commodore Grille beginning at 10:30 a.m.