UF baseball breaks school record with 15th straight win


Florida starting pitcher Hudson Randall improved his record to 3-0 on the year by going 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts while giving up two earned runs and scattering six hits.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/File photo
Published: Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 at 9:37 p.m.

Friday night at McKethan Stadium was a historic one as the top-ranked Florida Gators set a school record by recording their 15th-consecutive win of the season with a 10-2 victory over Vanderbilt in front of a home crowd of 4,141 in the SEC opener for both teams.

Facts

Saturday's game

Who: Vanderbilt (7-11, 0-1 SEC) vs. No. 1 Florida (17-1, 1-0)
When: 1 p.m.
Where: McKethan Stadium
TV: CST
Radio: 103.7 FM

Pitching matchup: UF junior left-hander Brian Johnson (2-0, 4.12 ERA) against Vanderbilt junior right-hander Drew VerHagen (2-1, 3.93 ERA)

The winning streak breaks a mark of 14 straight games originally set in 2001 and equaled again in 2004.

Florida starting pitcher Hudson Randall improved his record to 3-0 on the year by going 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts while giving up two earned runs and scattering six hits.

The Commodores took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Conrad Gregor lined his first triple of the year to right field, scoring Mike Yastrzemski, who had singled.

But Randall would find his command, setting the Commodores down in order in the second and third innings while pitching out of a one-out jam with runners at second and third in the fourth.

“I was working on more of my pitches tonight, and after the first inning I tried to nibble on the corners, without having to continuously pound the zone,” Randall said.




With Randall's pitch count at 70, Vanderbilt (7-11, 0-1 SEC) managed to plate a run off the junior right-hander in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Anthony Gomez, giving the Commodores a 2-0 lead.

But that lead was short-lived.

In the bottom of the frame, the Gators got to Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek (2-2) with a five-run inning on RBI singles by Preston Tucker and Tyler Thompson, a sacrifice fly by Mike Zunino, an RBI fielder's choice by Nolan Fontana and a balk by Ziomek which scored Josh Tobias from third.

“One of the things we need to work on is getting runs early in the game, but fortunately for us we have so much power in the offense to where we can score at any time, like we did in the second half of this game,” Tucker said.

The Gators would add to their lead with a four-run seventh and one run in the eighth. Relievers Steven Rodriguez, Corey Stump and Justin Shafer closed the game out for Florida (17-1, 1-0 SEC).

UF freshman Taylor Gushue drove in two runs and senior Daniel Pigott finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

As for the winning streak, Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan's excitement was covered up by the importance of the Gators winning their first SEC series of the season.

“You know to be honest with you, I haven't really thought about it,” O'Sullivan said. “The only thing I am concerned about is winning this series. I mean, obviously it is something we will look back on at the end of the year and say ‘Hey, that was kinda neat', but right now, in the battle, in the moment, it really isn't that important to us.”

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