One bad pitch from Grayson Garvin was all it took to send #6 Vanderbilt to the loser's bracket of the College World Series, as Preston Tucker's three-run home run proved to be the difference maker in Florida's 3-1 win Tuesday morning. Vanderbilt failed to mount any meaningful offense against the Gators, posting just four hits in the loss.
Tuesday's resumption came after strong winds and heavy rain cut Monday night's game short in the sixth inning. Neither team was able to garner any momentum in the final three frames, each going hitless and putting just one runner apiece on base.
The heart of the Vandy lineup, its 3-6 batters, combined for an 0-16 effort at the plate. Vandy's struggles with runners at third base popped up again, as Tony Kemp wound up stranded at the hot corner after a one-out triple in the third inning. The next inning, Tucker's blast gave the Gators all the runs they would need, cranking a ball over the right field fence with two runners aboard.
Vandy would answer with a key two-out RBI by Anthony Gomez in the fifth, but Aaron Westlake followed with a strikeout, leaving two runners on base and ending the Commodores' last real threat of the game. Florida reliever Steven Rodriguez was lights out over the final 4.1 innings of play, using a combination of sharp sliders and breaking balls to keep Vanderbilt's potent offense off-balance all night and into the morning. He finished with six strikeouts in a hitless appearance.
Grayson Garvin finished with nine strikeouts and three earned runs in six innings of work to earn the loss. Will Clinard and Corey Williams combined for three shutout innings of relief Tuesday morning.
Vanderbilt will face North Carolina tomorrow in an elimination game at 6 PM Central time. The winner will go on to face Florida, and they'll have to defeat the Gators twice to get to the College World Series Finals.