The Gators snapped a four-game conference losing streak and improved to 19-12 overall and 3-5 in SEC action. The Commodores’ five-game league winning streak was snapped at five games as they fell to 18-9 on the year and 6-2 in the SEC.
Florida took a 1-0 lead in the first on Brian Jeroloman’s suicide squeeze sacrifice bunt that plated Stephen Barton from third. Chris Petrie’s RBI triple in the fourth pushed the lead to 2-0.
LaPorta’s and Leclerc’s homers in the fifth extended the lead to 6-0.
The Commodores cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth when Brian Hernandez came through with a two-run triple and then scored on a RBI single by Ryan Flaherty.
Pedro Alvarez’ solo homer in the seventh cut the lead to 6-4, but that was as close as Vanderbilt would get.
Dominic de la Osa went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the offense, with Alex Feinberg coming through with two hits of his own.
“It was a frustrating effort, but we buckled down after the fifth and starting coming back,” said de la Osa. “We had a big inning in the sixth and Pedro had a big homer in the seventh that gave us more life, but we weren’t able to get it done in the end.”
Starter Matt Buschmann (3-3) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
The teams will close out the series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be televised regionally on the Sunshine Network. Sophomore southpaw Cody Crowell will get the start for the Commodores, while the Gators starter is still to be determined.
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No. 15 Florida 100 140 00x- 680
Buschmann, Betourne (6), Davis (7) and Hernandez. Augenstein, Edmondson (6), Porter (8), O’Day (9) and Jeroloman. W- Augenstein 6-2, L- Buschmann 3-3. SV- O’Day (6). HR- VU: Alvarez (4) UF: LaPorta (4), Leclerc (3).