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2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 12 - Vanderbilt 2, Florida 1
Hoover, Ala. – Vanderbilt slipped by No. 2 Florida 2-1 Thursday night at the Southeastern Conference Tournament to earn a bye into the semifinals on Saturday.
The two teams traded zeroes through the first three innings with Vanderbilt (32-25) starter Sam Selman pitching around trouble until the Commodores’ offense scored in the fourth inning. Florida (41-17) starter Hudson Randall picked up two quick outs to open the frame before issuing back-to-back walks to Conrad Gregor and Spencer Navin. Riley Reynolds’ made Randall pay with a triple into the right-center field gap clearing the bases and putting Vandy up 2-0. Selman combined with freshmen Tyler Beede and Jared Miller to make those two runs stand up.
Selman (9-3) was outstanding over six shutout innings to win his ninth game of the year, stranding nine Gators on the base paths. The lefty worked out of jams in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, striking out the final batter in his final three innings before turning the ball over to Beede. The freshman right-hander was greeted with a single from leadoff hitter Nolan Fontana, who later advanced to third on an errant pick off throw. Florida’s Preston Tucker brought the Gators within a run with a deep fly out to right field to score Fontana. After a walk to Mike Zunino, Miller was summoned from the bullpen. The freshman responded by striking out Florida designated hitter Brian Johnson to end the seventh. Miller then retired six of the next seven batters he faced to notch his first career save and make the Commodores 3-0 in Hoover, Ala.
The VU offense missed out on opportunities to blow the game open in each of their last three at-bats leaving runners in scoring position in all three innings. Vandy posted five hits in the win led by Gregor’s two hits. Vanderbilt pitchers held Florida to just four hits on the night, stranding 11 runners. In Vandy’s three wins in the tournament VU pitching has stranded 32 base runners.
The win pushed the Commodores’ season-best winning streak to eight games and marked the team’s 10th win over a ranked opponent in the last 16 games while the team has gone 13-3 overall during the stretch.
2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.
Game 12 • Thursday, May 24
(5) Vanderbilt 2, (3) Florida 1
• With the win, Vanderbilt increases their SEC Tournament Series lead over Florida to 7-2; however, Florida leads the All-Time Series 128-64-1.
• The Commodores improve to 32-25 on the season and will play again on Saturday. They will face the winner of Florida and South Carolina in an elimination game to be played tomorrow afternoon.
• This game featured a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship Game, which Florida won 5-0.
• With the win, Vanderbilt snaps a seven-game losing streak to Florida.
• After drawing a walk in the first inning, Florida SS Nolan Fontana has now reached base safely in eight straight games.
• DH Riley Reynolds of Vanderbilt connected with his second triple of the season as he broke a scoreless tie in the fourth by driving in his 15th and 16th runs of the season. For Reynolds, it’s his fifth multi-RBI game of the season.
• In 78.1 innings pitched for Florida SP Hudson Randall, he gave up only his eighth and ninth walks of the season, which led to two runs scoring for the Commodores in the fourth inning. Randall suffered just his second loss of the season. His only other loss came on March 30th to Ole Miss.
• Vanderbilt 1B Conrad Gregor hit his team-leading 16th double of the season and later came up with his second hit of the game in the eighth. Gregor was the only player on either team with multiple hits tonight as he now has 17 multi-hit games on the season.
• In six innings pitched, SP Sam Selman of Vanderbilt walked four batters and hit two more, but stayed strong by only allowing two hits and kept Florida off the board. He also went on to strike out seven Gators on the night and picks up his ninth win on the year, which leads the Commodores.
• Florida left 10 runners on base on the evening.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin
On starting pitcher Sam Selman’s performance…
“Yeah, he was pretty good. He pitched out of trouble. This is something that we have seen here in the last 10 weeks. It is hard to pinpoint one guy, but our success as a team stems a lot from what he was doing. He has come a long way. I am proud of him. He has a good arm. He has always been able to throw the fastball. The reason he is having success is his ability to throw breaking balls and fastballs for strikes.”
Jared Miller (Fr., P)
On his performance in tonight’s game…
“I just kind of watched Sam [Selman] do a good job of keeping them off-balance. I watched where his locations were. Then [Tyler] Beede came in and did a nice job. I was ready when they called my name. I don’t throw as hard as Sam so I have to keep the ball down and focus on the angle and keeping the ball low and off the plate a little bit.”
Riley Reynolds (Sr., PH)
On the two-out triple…
“He [Hudson Randall] had been throwing well all night. I was just trying to get something up. He threw that ball slow in the dirt and I was able to get it up the middle and put a good swing on it.”
Sam Selman (Jr., P)
On attacking Florida…
“I was just trying to throw strikes and get ahead of guys. I didn’t really do that too well. I tried to force ground balls and get outs. There was great pitching from Tyler [Beede] and Jared [Miller] at the end.”
Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan
On Vanderbilt pitcher Sam Selman’s effort tonight…
“You just have to credit him. We’ve been swinging the bat well. He beat us. It was just one of those nights. I think you have to give all the credit to Selman. He threw the ball really well.”
On what Selman did to keep Florida off balance…
“He threw just enough breaking balls for strikes to keep us off. He really located his fastball (against) the right handers. He did a really good job of that tonight.”
Hudson Randall (Jr., P)
On his efforts tonight…
“I was looking for a better start out of myself. I guess I didn’t have my best stuff. I was just competing as hard as I could out there, and they came up with a big hit when they needed it.”
Preston Tucker (Sr., RF)
On not getting enough offensive production tonight…
“It’s obviously frustrating when you’re not swinging the bat well. (Sam Selman) had a good arm. He had two really good pitches, and our guys couldn’t put anything together. We were getting people on base late in the inning when we couldn’t really start anything going. Then when we had runners in scoring position, we couldn’t really cash in. It was a combination of things.”