The top-ranked Florida Gators (18-1) ran their school record winning streak to 16 straight games as they took care of the Vanderbilt Commodores (6-12) Saturday afternoon. Junior southpaw Brian Johnson (3-0) allowed only two singles over six shut-out innings while striking out a career high nine to pick up the win for Florida. Johnson retired the first eleven 'Dores he faced on his way to his best outing on the season. Drew VerHagen (2-2) took the loss for Vandy, throwing 4 1/3 innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits. The Gators scored in the fourth and the fifth to get the win and their third straight series against Vandy.
Florida started the scoring off in the fourth off of a VerHagen wild pitch, which scored Mike Zunino after he reached base by being hit by a pitch. The Gators tagged on four more in the fifth to increase the lead to 5-0. Daniel Pigott came through with a two-run single and Preston Tucker cranked a two-run homer to give Florida a four-spot in the inning.
Vanderbilt scored their sole run in the eighth on a two-out double from Anthony Gomez off of Daniel Gibson. The run was the first Gibson has given up all season. Gibson got the final out of the inning and Greg Larson finished off the Commodores on 11 pitches to sew the game up.
Florida goes for the sweep tomorrow when they send Jonathon Crawford (1-0, 5.71 ERA) to the bump to make his SEC debut against Vandy's freshman righty Tyler Beede (0-2, 7.24 ERA). The game starts early enough at 1 p.m. to watch the Gators baseball team on Sun Sports before flipping over to the Gators basketball team taking on Norfolk State in the NCAA Tournament at 6:10 p.m. on TNT.