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Florida beats Vanderbilt 3-1 in completion of delayed game

Florida pitcher Steven Rodriguez, center, celebrates with teammates Alex Panteliodis, left, and starting pitcher Karsten Whitson as the Gators remain undefeated in the College World Series.

Associated Press

Florida pitcher Steven Rodriguez, center, celebrates with teammates Alex Panteliodis, left, and starting pitcher Karsten Whitson as the Gators remain undefeated in the College World Series.

OMAHA, Neb. — Night or day, it didn't matter to Florida's Steven Rodriguez.

The pitcher did not give up a hit in 41/3 innings of relief over two days, and Florida finished off a 3-1 victory over Vanderbilt in Tuesday's completion of a College World Series game suspended by inclement weather.

The left-hander retired three batters Monday night before high winds and heavy rain disrupted the game in the bottom of the sixth. He struck out six of the 11 batters he faced Tuesday. The sophomore finished with seven strikeouts and a walk.

"(Monday), when the sirens went off, I was kind of upset because I was dealing and I felt really good," Rodriguez said. "…It was super perfect (Tuesday) and things came out in my favor."

Florida (52-17) beat its SEC rival for the fourth time in five meetings this season and needs a win Friday over Vandy (53-11) or North Carolina to reach the best-of-three final. The Commodores and Tar Heels meet today; the winner would have to beat the Gators twice to advance.

"We've got a long way to go in this thing," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We'll probably face a No. 1 pitcher for whoever we see Friday. This thing is a long way from over."

Former Plant High star Preston Tucker's three-run homer off starter Grayson Garvin (13-2) gave UF a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said the difference was "one swing" — Tucker's.

"That is the way the game's played, particularly when you've got two very even teams," Corbin said. "And I know that they've had their way in terms of the outcome, but that doesn't change my opinion in terms of the evenness between Florida and Vanderbilt."

Anthony Gomez had an RBI single in the fifth for the Commodores. Rodriguez then took over for starter Karsten Whitson.

Because Rodriguez threw just 11 pitches Monday, O'Sullivan sent him back out. "He's well-rested, he's strong and he's durable," O'Sullivan said.

It took only 44 minutes to play the last 31/3 innings.

Cal survives again; South Carolina rolls on

No. 9 batter Derek Campbell drove in two runs, closer Matt Flemer pitched three scoreless innings and California extended its most improbable season, beating Texas A&M 7-3.

The Bears (38-22) play Virginia in another elimination game Thursday. The Aggies (47-22) went two and out and are 2-10 in five all-time CWS appearances.

California would need three more wins to reach the championship round. Then again, Bears coaches and players believe anything is possible now.

Last fall, the administration announced plans to cut the program in 2012 for budgetary reasons, but boosters and alumni raised $9 million to save the Bears.

Also, Colby Holmes, John Taylor and Matt Price combined on a five-hitter and defending national champion South Carolina tied the record for consecutive NCAA tournament wins, beating Virginia 7-1. The Gamecocks (52-14) won their 13th straight national tournament game, tying Southern California (1972-74) and LSU (1997-98).

No. 1 seed Virginia (55-11) was hitless into the fourth.


NORTH CAROLINA: The NCAA is investigating possible violations, including unethical conduct by a former assistant as well as failure to adequately monitor former and current players. The NCAA says former associate head coach John Blake provided "false and misleading information" to both its investigators and the school regarding his relationship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard.

OHIO STATE: The school dropped its review of car purchases by players and family members after two investigations found dealerships made money on almost all of the sales. The review was dropped after a report by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and a separate review by the Ohio Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

EAST CAROLINA: Cornerback Emanuel Davis and receiver Michael Bowman will miss the opener, Sept. 3 against South Carolina, after both were arrested Saturday in Greenville, N.C. Davis' charges included intoxication and resisting a public officer. Bowman was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a public officer.

Florida beats Vanderbilt 3-1 in completion of delayed game 06/21/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:17am]
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