HOOVER, Ala. — Florida fell victim to a triple steal as Vanderbilt scored five runs in the ninth inning Saturday to defeat the Gators 8-6, eliminating UF from the SEC baseball tournament.
Vanderbilt (33-25) stole six bases in the ninth and Anthony Gomez singled home the go-ahead run, then stole second, third and finally — on the triple steal play — home.
Closer Austin Maddox gave up five hits and two walks in the ninth for the Gators (42-18), who are ranked third in Baseball America's poll.
"We got exposed there in the ninth," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "Nobody likes to lose, but I'm glad it happens this week and not next (in the NCAA tournament region round). Trust me, we'll get that cleaned up."
The Commodores face Mississippi State in Sunday's championship game.
FSU DROPS ANOTHER, UM IN FINAL: Top seed Florida State, ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, finished 0-3 in pool play at the ACC tournament with a 7-0 loss to Virginia. Devon Travis had two of the five hits for the Seminoles (43-15). No. 6 seed Miami (36-20), which defeated Wake Forest late Friday to go 2-1, will play in the final today against No. 8 Georgia Tech (noon, ESPN2). Miami got the help it needed Saturday when North Carolina defeated N.C. State 4-0 in 12 innings. The Hurricanes advanced on a tiebreaker; N.C. State would have reached the final with a win.
TENNIS: No. 1 seed Allie Will of Florida reached the semifinals of the NCAA individual championships, defeating No. 7 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M 6-3, 6-3 in Athens, Ga. Will faces Stanford's Nicole Gibbs today. In doubles, UF's Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather lost 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) to Tennessee's Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely.
TRACK AND FIELD: Late Friday, USF senior David Aristil qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third consecutive year and set a school record in the 400-meter hurdles in 49.60 seconds at the East Region meet in Jacksonville. On Saturday, Maurice Mitchell of Florida State won the 200 and was part of the winning 4x100 relay. … Florida's Jeff Demps withdrew from his 100 meters heat Friday due to a troublesome hamstring and, as a result, will not be in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which he won in 2010. Demps' primary goal has been to make the U.S. Olympic team for the Summer Games in London.
WOMEN'S GOLF: A day after Florida finished 12th in the NCAA Championships, coach Jan Dowling resigned. "My decision was extremely difficult," the third-year coach said, "however, I have to make the right choices for my personal life, too." She's the second UF coach to resign in as many days.
LACROSSE: Maryland reached the NCAA title game for the second straight year with a 16-10 victory over Duke in Foxborough, Mass. On Monday the Terrapins (12-5) meet No. 1 seed and state rival Loyola of Maryland, a 7-5 winner over Notre Dame.
SEC FOOTBALL: The SEC is leaning toward a "6-1-1" format for scheduling starting in 2013, according to the Birmingham News. That means each year, each school would play its six division opponents, plus one permanent opponent from the other division, and one opponent from the other division on a rotating basis. According to the paper, Larry Templeton, who heads the committee to handle scheduling with Missouri and Texas A&M joining in the fall to make the SEC a 14-team league, said the league is unlikely to go to a nine-game format.
More FOOTBALL: The Sun Sentinel reported that two Miami backups, fullback C.J. Holton and tight end Billy Sanders, have left the team but are still enrolled. Holton was competing with former Tampa Bay Tech star Maurice Hagens for playing time.
OBITUARY: Former Indiana coach and player Lou Watson died Thursday in Fairfax, Va. He was 88. Mr. Watson played for the Hoosiers from 1947-50 and was their head coach from 1966-71, after which he took a job as special assistant to the athletic director and Indiana hired Bob Knight.