June 21, 2011

CWS Scores & Schedule


Tucker Lifts Florida past Vandy

By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

(photos by Jimmy Jones)


OMAHA, Neb. – Karsten Whitson and Steven Rodriguez (right) combined to shut down the vaunted Vanderbilt offense, and Preston Tucker showed that there would be no power outage despite a series of extreme storms over TD Ameritrade Park as Florida captured a 3-1 win spanning Monday night and Tuesday morning.


One pitch may have been the difference – Tucker blasted a three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning off Grayson Garvin, the SEC pitcher of the year – but it was a long time in coming as the game was a continuation of Monday night’s start when torrential rains and strong winds halted the contest with one out in the Vanderbilt half of the sixth inning.
“I told the kids that it was just the difference in a swing, really,” Commodores coach Tim Corbin said. “Both teams pitched very well the whole entire time. Starters did a nice job. “The guy on my right [Garvin] pitched very well, and put us in a position to win.
“But that was the difference. It was just a swing, and that is the way the game’s played, particularly when you have got two evenly matched teams.”
The Commodores (53-11) managed just four hits, and the only run came courtesy of sophomore Anthony Gomez, who knocked in Connor Harrell with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Whitson (left) started the game and threw 4.2 innings, surrendering four hits and one earned run along with five strikeouts. Vandy, which hit the ball hard on numerous occasions throughout the game, chased Whitson in the fifth; Rodriguez entered the game and left the Commodores guessing with his longest outing of the season for Florida (52-17).
He set a career mark with seven strikeouts in his stint.
Garvin pitched six innings, surrendering three runs on five hits, while striking out nine batters.
“I thought it was a great ballgame by both clubs,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Obviously the margin was for error was very small for both sides. I thought both pitchers did exactly what they needed to do to give their team a chance to stay in the ballgame.
“Like I said, the margin for error was very small today. A walk here, an error there and the next thing you know the complexion of the game changes. This thing is a long way from over, but we’re awfully excited about the position we’re in right now.”
Florida is now off until Friday and awaits the winner of the Vanderbilt-North Carolina elimination game on Wednesday at 6 CT.