Sam Selman may have let a few runners get on base, but he made sure that they didn't cross home plate. That, along with a clutch Riley Reynolds at-bat, was the difference between playing on Friday and having the day off.
Selman put together a gem and Reynolds accounted for all of Vandy's runs in a 2-1 Commodore win over 3rd-ranked Florida Thursday night. The win was Vanderbilt's eighth in a row and earned them a bye day by virtue of their presence in the winners' bracket. With the loss, the Gators will play South Carolina on Friday to determine who will play the 'Dores on Saturday.
Florida threatened to score throughout the night, but Selman's craftiness on the mound shut down their offense over the game's first six innings. The junior allowed only two hits and struck out seven batters in a strong performance. However, four walks and two hit batsmen were enough to keep Vandy fans nervous all night.
Hudson Randall was almost as impressive on the other side, but the Commodores were able to get to him in the fourth inning to score what would end up being the game's deciding runs. Conrad Gregor and Spencer Navin each drew two-out walks before Reynolds laced a base-clearing triple into right-center field. Florida would get a run back in the seventh against Tyler Beede thanks in part to a costly two-base error on a pickoff play, but Jared Miller was sharp in relief. Miller's 2.1 innings of one-hit ball earned him his first save of his college career.
The win was a gratifying one for Vanderbilt. They hadn't beaten the Gators in their last seven tries, a streak that dated back to last season. Now, they'll await one of two top-10 squads on Saturday with a berth in the SEC title game on the line. Coach Tim Corbin hasn't announced who he'll send to the mound for that game, but it's possible that Kevin Ziomek or Tyler Beede, two pitchers that have pitched limited innings in relief so far this week, could get the call.