1 day ago
Isaiah Hood | SEC Network
Hoover, Alabama — For the second night in a row, BT Riopelle was everything Florida needed him to be and more.
The No. 1-seeded Gators defeated the No. 4-seeded Commodores with a 6-3 victory in a tight all-around game on Thursday in the SEC Tournament at Hoover Met.
Florida became the only program to reach the SEC Tournament semifinals in each of the last three seasons.
Despite the final score, the Commodores recorded 10 hits and still put up a fight.
Enrique Bradfield Jr.’s speed has been a staple of Vanderbilt’s tournament so far. The center fielder started the Dores’ night with a triple to left field and was driven home the following at-bat, following up his two-run performance the night before.
That lead didn’t last long as Luke Heyman sent a 421-foot bomb to center field to end the game. With the homer, Heyman became the sixth Florida player to hit 10 on the year, a program record.
Florida continued its run with solo homers by Dinger Riopel. The catcher sent a 435-foot bomb to right field with an exit velocity of 107 MPH in the first inning at bat off David Horn.
Vandy continued to battle and scored on Davis Diaz’s single. at that point, he drove in four of the Commodores’ eight runs in the contest.
Brandon Sproat was the pitcher for the Gators and pitched a low-scoring game over six innings, allowing just two runs and six hits. He was replaced by Cade Fisher in seventh place.
The Gators’ pitching staff allowed nine hits through those innings, but they kept Riopel admirable to build on his unblemished SEC run.
With two outs and the bases loaded. Riopelle drilled a 424-foot grand slam that created the separation the game needed.
The last two multi-homer games in the SEC Tournament have been by Florida players, with Wyatt Langford doing it last year. It also marked the ninth grand slam for the Gators this season, the most in the SEC.
Vandy tried to fight back when Jonathan Vastin hit his fourth homer of the year to bring the game within three runs.
But it wasn’t enough to break Riopel’s heroics and the resilient defense that spread through Florida.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
T1 |: Bradfield tripled to left field. Diaz grounded out and Bradfield Jr. scored. Vanderbilt 1, Florida 0.
B2 Heyman singled to center field. Vanderbilt 1, Florida 1.
B4 Riopel singled to right field. Florida 2, Vanderbilt 1.
T5 Vastin singled out the middle. Diaz singled to left field, RBI (2-2 BBKK); Vasti scored a goal. Florida 2, Vanderbilt 2.
B7 They walked Kurland. Callianone was hit by a pitch, Kurland advanced to second. Rivera walked, Callianone moved to second and Kurland moved to third. Riopelle singled to left-center and scored Kurland, Callianone and Rivera. Florida 6, Vanderbilt 2.
T8 Vastin hits a solo homer. Florida 6, Vanderbilt 3.
Florida (43-13) will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of Game 14. First pitch is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM ET 30 minutes into the game in a contest that will be televised on the SEC Network.
Vanderbilt (38-17) will face No. 9 Alabama in the fourth round. First pitch is scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the ET Texas A&M-LSU game in a contest that will be televised on the SEC Network.