Florida catcher BT Riopelle delivered the best game of his career but Florida was unable to hold on to an early lead and dropped the contest 8-6 in Nashville Saturday.
Riopelle hit three homers to carry the team on his back Saturday. Unfortunately, the team’s pitching continues to struggle to find consistency inning to inning.
Riopelle got the scoring started with a home run to right on a 3-1 pitch in the second inning. Two frames later, Riopelle crushed the first pitch he saw out of the park to left, a two-run blast that put the Gators in front 3-0. Josh Rivera added a solo homer two batters later.
RHP Brandon Sproat cruised through the first three innings. He finally gave up a run in the fourth on a solo homer. The Commodores then got another back in the fifth as Bradfield scored on a single from Vaz.
A three run triple by Bradfield in the sixth gave Vanderbilt a 6-4 advantage and knocked Sproat out of the contest.
Riopelle laced his third homer in the seventh, a two-run shot that evened the score.
But, as we’ve seen over and over again this year, the Florida bullpen was unable to blank the ‘Dores.
Vanderbilt added one in the seventh and another in the eighth to claim the 8-6 victory and clinch the series.
- W: Nick Maldonado (2-1)
- L: Tyler Nesbitt (0-2)
- S: Thomas Schultz (5)
- Riopelle: 3-4, 3 HR, 5 RBI, BB
- Langford: 2-5, 2 R
- Rivera: 1-4, HR, RBI
The two teams will meet in the series finale Sunday at 1:00 PM.