UF falls to Vandy, faces elimination

Florida players react at the end of a 2-1 loss to Vanderbilt in an NCAA college baseball game during the Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday. (The Associated Press)

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 25, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.

HOOVER, Ala. — Riley Reynolds hit a two-run triple and Sam Selman pitched six scoreless innings to lead Vanderbilt past Florida 2-1 Thursday night in the third round of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.


SEC Tournament

Thursday's scores
Vanderbilt 2, Florida 1
South Carolina 5, Auburn 3
Kentucky 5, Mississippi St. 1
LSU 11, Ole Miss 2
Today's elimination games
LSU vs. Mississippi State, 4 p.m. On TV: CST
Florida vs. South Carolina, 7:30 p.m. On TV: CST Radio: 103.7 FM

The victory gives the Commodores (32-25) a bye until Saturday. Florida (41-17) will play South Carolina tonight at 7:30 in an elimination game. The game will start 30 minutes following the completion of the win-or-go-home contest between LSU and Mississippi State that begins at 4.

Florida's Hudson Randall (7-2) allowed one hit through 3-2/3 innings before walking Conrad Gregor and Spencer Navin with two outs in the fourth. Reynolds then tripled to the gap in right-center field.

The Gators nearly tied the game in the seventh, but Preston Tucker's long fly to right field was caught on the warning track. Nolan Fontana scored from third on the sacrifice fly.

Selman (9-3) struck out seven and gave up only two hits, though he walked four and hit two batters. Jared Miller gave up one hit over the final 2-1/3 to earn his first save.

Staring down the possibility of elimination, the Gators will send junior Brian Johnson to the hill tonight against South Carolina. Johnson will be making his team-leading 15th start of the season and is 6-4 with a 3.88 earned run average in 72 innings. He will be opposed by Gamecock junior right-hander Colby Holmes (6-0, 2.91).

Johnson has 59 strikeouts and 15 walks and is coming off a strong seven-inning stint at Auburn last Friday night in which he permitted just two hits and an unearned run and tallied seven strikeouts to clinch the series victory for the Gators.

The southpaw earned the decision in game two at South Carolina on March 23 by allowing two runs and five hits over six innings in UF's 8-2 win.

Florida and South Carolina will be meeting for the ninth time in the past two seasons. The clubs battled five times last year, with the Gamecocks emerging victorious on four occasions, including twice in Omaha to win their second-straight NCAA title. Kevin O'Sullivan's club claimed two of the three regular-season encounters in Columbia in the second league series in late March.

Kentucky 5, Mississippi St. 1: At Hoover, Ala., Thomas McCarthy went 4-for-5 with an RBI and scored three runs to lead Kentucky to a victory over Mississippi State.

The victory gives Kentucky (43-15) a bye until Saturday. Mississippi State (36-22) will play LSU today in an elimination game.

The Bulldogs had three hits in the first inning, including a two-out RBI single by Trey Porter, but managed only one more hit the rest of the game.

Jerad Grundy (5-3) struck out nine over six innings in picking up the victory. Alex Phillips pitched three hitless innings for his seventh save.

LSU 11, Mississippi 2: At Hoover, Ala., Jordy Snikeris homered, doubled and drove in four runs to power LSU to a win over Mississippi.

Snikeris pinch hit in the eighth and helped the Tigers (43-15) score seven runs in the final two innings.

Tyler Hanover went 4-for-5 and scored a pair of runs for LSU, while Austin Nola's three hits included an RBI double for the Tigers.

LSU starter Kevin Gausman (10-1) allowed two runs in seven innings, scattering seven hits.

South Carolina 5, Auburn 3: At Hoover, Ala., Adam Matthews went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as South Carolina built a five-run lead and then held on to defeat Auburn 5-3 Thursday in the third round of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.

The Gamecocks play Florida tonight at 7:30. The loss knocked Auburn out of the double-elimination tournament.

Matthews had RBI singles in both the fourth and fifth innings, as South Carolina (40-16) jumped ahead 5-0.

Auburn (31-28) scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to cut the lead to 5-3. But Matt Price retired the Tigers in order in the ninth for his 10th save.

Michael Roth (6-1) picked up the victory, while Cory Luckie (2-2) took the loss.

The Gamecocks had a total of 13 hits in the game, with LB Dantzler, Grayson Greiner and Chase Vergason accounting for two hits each.

Justin Bryant was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Tigers.

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