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Crawford struggles, bats silent in loss to Vanderbilt

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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013 12:50 am

Jonathon Crawford did not pitch like a man starved for run support on Saturday night. The junior surrendered six earned runs on 12 hits in six innings, taking the loss in Florida's 6-1 defeat to No. 2 Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. The loss was UF's first on the road this season.

The series is now even following the Gators' 7-1 victory against the Commodores on Friday.

Crawford, who has received just 2.3 runs of support in six starts this season, saw his ERA jump to 5.67 in 2013 following Saturday's outing. Meanwhile, UF scored just one run — a ninth-inning RBI double off the bat of pinch hitter Brady Roberson.

Vanderbilt delivered the knockout punch with two outs in the bottom of the first.

Two strikes away from a 1-2-3 inning, Crawford gave up four straight two-out hits and ended the first inning down three runs.

The Commodores struck again in the fifth with two outs. Leading UF 4-0, Crawford battled back from surrendering two consecutive one-out singles by striking out pinch hitter Rhett Wiseman. But Vandy catcher Spender Navin made sure Crawford did not escape the frame unscathed.

Navin drove home two more runs with a double to center field, extending Vanderbilt's lead to 6-0.

The six-run advantage was too much to handle for a Gators lineup that could not get going against Commodores starter Tyler Beede. Beede earned the win, giving up just two hits in 6.1 scoreless innings.

Only Justin Shafer and Vickash Ramjit managed hits — singles — off Beede.

Beede struggled with his control, walking five and hitting a batter. But he gave the Gators little to work with besides an occasional free pass.

Beede's dominance came just one night removed from a seven-run outburst by Florida in the series opener. The Gators recorded nine hits on Friday, including at least one in the final five innings.

Taylor Gushue, who finished Friday's win 2 for 3 with a homer and 3 RBI, was hitless in three plate appearances on Saturday. The top five hitters in Florida's lineup went 3 for 18 with a walk and five strikeouts after combining for seven hits, seven runs and four RBI on Friday.

UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan has not announced a starting pitcher to face Vandy's Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 2.01 ERA) on Sunday in the rubber game of the SEC series.

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