Gators lose series opener to Commodores
Aleman allows nine earned runs in only five innings of work
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The much anticipated matchup between No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 15 Florida quickly became a one-side affair, as the Commodores exploded for nine runs in the first five innings to take the series opener 11-7.
Florida entered the contest having won eight of their last nine games, but facing arguably the best pitching staff in all of college baseball was going to be a tall task from the beginning. The Gators put Franco Aleman on the hill to start game one, but he quickly lost control.
In the top of the 1st, Aleman issued back-to-back walks to begin the inning. he narrowly escaped disaster after recording consecutive outs, but CJ Rodriguez beat out a slow roller to second to bring home a pair of runs to make it 2-0.
In the top of the 2nd, Aleman allowed four more runs, highlighted by Jack Bulger’s 2-run double down the right field line. Florida quickly found itself in a 6-0 in just two innings of play.
In total, Aleman threw 97 pitches in only five innings, while allowing 9 earned runs on 10 hits.
Gators hitters were powerless at the plate against Vanderbilt starter, Kumar Rocker. The NCAA leader in wins only gave up two earned runs on four hits over five innings, while striking out eight.
Florida did mount a late comeback by scoring two runs in the 6th and three more in the 8th inning, but their rally came too late. The orange and blue lose 11-7 on Friday.
The Gators will look to avenge their loss with a win tomorrow in game two. But that will be another tall order as they face Jack Leiter, the NCAA leader in strikeouts.
Saturday’s game begins at 6:30 p.m.
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