The Florida baseball team dropped a series rubber game to Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon by a score of 16-2. Florida wins every SEC series at home except for the one against the Commodores.
It was a Senior Day that UF starter Karsten Whitson will hope to soon forget. Whitson lasted a third of an inning, allowing five earned runs. In all, four different Florida pitchers let in runs on the hill in route to Saturday’s 14 run loss.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was surprised with the performances on the mound.
“It was very uncharacteristic of us. We usually don’t do that. I think this game is contagious, sometimes good but sometimes bad. You start walking some guys and you get behind. It kind of spiraled out of control. I didn’t see it coming, but it did. We didn’t get a great start, and we didn’t pitch particularly well after that.”
Three seniors were recognized for their career efforts Saturday afternoon. Keenan Kish, Zack Powers, and Karsten Whitson all made their final SEC appearances at McKethan Stadium.
There were a few bright spots for Florida in the defeat as Buddy Reed earned his sixth career multi-hit game going 3-4 on the day including an RBI. Center fielder Harrison Bader also reached base three times and drove in a run.
Vanderbilt’s starter Tyler Ferguson got the win, pitching five innings while giving up just two hits. He picked up his 7th win on the season for the Commodores.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan knows he needs to prepare his players for the week ahead.
“I don’t want to overreact here. We played poorly but Vanderbilt played well, and good teams end up taking advantage of your mistakes. We’ve had a heck of a season up to this point; 48 hours ago, we were talking about us winning 12 SEC games in a row and setting a school record. It’s 48 hours later, and I don’t want the guys acting like the season is coming to an end. It’s disappointing, but in the big scheme of things we’ve got to learn from our mistakes, and we’ve got to move on and get ready to play (USF) on Tuesday.”
Florida remains the top squad in the SEC heading into the final series of conference play next week.
For audio from Saturday’s game, click the links below: