Jeremy Vasquez went 2-4 with two RBI, Buddy Reed went 3-4 with a walk and an RBI and five Florida pitchers combined to allow just three runs on five hits as the Gators defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 7-3 in Hoover, Alabama to win their seventh SEC baseball championship.
In a game that saw a total of nearly three hours' worth of rain delays, Florida struck in the top of the first as Harrison Bader led the game off with a home run over the left field fence, followed later by a two-out RBI single by Peter Alonso to make it 2-0. Vandy cut it to 2-1 as Ro Coleman scored on a wild pitch, but the Gators tacked on a pair in the top of the second after a 34-minute rain delay and one in the third to open up a 5-1 lead. The Commodores made it 5-2 in the third after a Rhett Wiseman one-out single—before the game was halted by rain once more for two hours and fourteen minutes—then drew to within 5-3 on a Karl Ellison single into center.
However, Florida would not allow the Commodores to get any closer. Vasquez singled in Alonso with one out in the fifth to make it 6-3, followed by a Ben Bowden wild pitch that allowed Mike Rivera to score from third and stretch the lead to 7-3. Gators pitching shut it down the rest of the way as they allowed just four Vandy hits in the final 5.1 innings.
Both the Commodores and the Gators will host a regional next weekend, but their exact seeding will be revealed in tomorrow's selection show. For Florida, it is their second title in five seasons, as they topped the Commodores 5-0 in the 2011 championship game.