Storm alters Gator, Vandy plans
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:24 pm
By: By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Heavy rain following high winds forced the suspension of the Florida-Vanderbilt game at the College World Series on Monday night.
Florida leads 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The game resumed this morning at 10:06 a.m.. but was not complete at press time.
Tornado sirens sounded in the area about 8 p.m., but no tornado warning was issued.
Fans at TD Ameritrade Park began filing out, but play continued for a couple more pitches before umpires waved players off the field.
Fans took refuge in the stadium concourse until the NCAA announced the suspension 21⁄2 hours after play was stopped.
Preston Tucker’s three-run homer off Vanderbilt starter Grayson Garvin gave the Gators a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
It was Tucker’s fifth homer in eight games and 15th of the season.
Anthony Gomez’s RBI single in the fifth made it 3-1. Garvin, the Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year, held the Gators hitless through three innings.
He walked Nolan Fontana with one out in the fourth and Mike Zunino followed with an infield single before Tucker sent Garvin’s 2-1 pitch into the seats above the right-field bullpen.
Tucker, who doubled in the sixth, is batting .375 (12-of-32) over the past eight games, with six doubles and 18 RBI to go with the five homers.
Florida starter Karsten Whitson held Vanderbilt scoreless in the first and third innings after the Commodores had a runner reach third base.
The Commodores broke through in the fifth.
Connor Harrell singled with one out and Tony Kemp drew a two-out walk before Gomez singled to left center, chasing Whitson and bringing on Steven Rodriguez.
Dark clouds moved in from the south and winds began picking up in the bottom of the sixth.
Tornado sirens were heard as Mike Yastrzemski flew out to left field.
Home plate umpire Jim Garman looked to his left and right after that play, apparently looking for a sign to stop play, but he allowed Jason Esposito to begin his at-bat.
Umpires waved players off the field after Rodriguez’s first pitch to Esposito.
Skies turned pitch black as the grounds crew put the tarp on.
Some fans pulled out cameras to shoot video of the ominous clouds.
Strong winds blew food wrappers across the field and through the stands.
After the grounds crew got the tarp on the field, many of them sprinted off to shelter.
The NCAA had hoped to resume play after about a two-hour delay, but rain continued.
When play resumes, Florida will try to wrap up its fourth victory in five games against its fellow SEC school.
The winner advances to a Friday game, with the opportunity to lock up a spot in the best-of-three championship series with a victory.
The loser meets North Carolina on Wednesday in an elimination game.