The Gator baseball team’s SEC school-record winning streak finished at 12 games after Vanderbilt sophomore righty Carson Fulmer threw a complete-game, four-hit shutout Friday night to defeat Florida 3-0. It was Florida’s second shutout of the season and the second one at McKethan Stadium against Florida.
The Commodores first threatened in the second inning with runners on the corners, but were stopped by sophomore starter Danny Young. With his seventh career start, and fourth in SEC play, he was good for three innings and allowed five hits, with two strikeouts and a walk.
Vanderbilt would threaten again in the third inning with two down and the bases loaded, but Young escaped yet again with a strikeout.
But in the fifth, Vanderbilt did score. With a man on first, Gator freshman righty Shaun Anderson (0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R) entered the game for Dane Dunning ( 1.0 IP, 1 R, 2 K, 2 BB) and gave up a walk and a single to load the bases. Then, a fielder’s choice ground ball was thrown away by Gator shortstop Richie Martin, allowing a second run to score. With another call to the bullpen, lefty Kirby Snead (4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 K) entered the game, allowing a single to left field and a squeeze bunt down the first base line to allow Vanderbilt their third run.
Snead though pitched well, matching his career best of 4.2 innings, and he has not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.
Snead says he was just doing his job.
“I just came in and didn’t let them score any more to keep us in the ball game. I just did my job, kept getting outs and kept throwing strikes. That’s all I really need to do. That worked tonight,” explained Snead.
Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan says he gives all the credit to Fulmer for the win.
“We knew going into the game that it was going to be one of those games like last night (1-0 Florida victory). We knew it was going to be like that game we played against (LSU’s Aaron) Nola (2-1 Florida win on March 29). We’ve watched plenty of video on (Carson Fulmer). In his three previous starts, he hasn’t given up a run. He’s a competitor. We’ve seen him in high school; he’s from Florida. We knew all about him,” says O’Sullivan.
Florida’s only four hits came from Zack Powers, John Sternagel, Harrison Bader, and Richie Martin.
The Orange and Blue will wrap up their series against the Commodores Saturday at 12pm, with Karsten Whitson taking the mound for the Gators.
O’Sullivan says the rubber-match can go either way.
“It should be a good game. They’ve got a good starter with a good arm, and we’ve got a good starter with a good arm. They’ve got a rested bullpen, and we’ve got a rested bullpen. It’s a pretty evenly-matched game. It should come down to who makes the least mistakes, to be honest with you,” says O’Sullivan.
To hear audio from players and O’Sullivan click below: