Gamecocks rough up No. 2 Gators

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FILE — Florida's Deacon Liput. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Special to The Sun

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina evened the baseball series against No. 2 Florida with a 15-7 win Saturday. The rubber match will be Sunday at 1 p.m. at Founders Park.

The Gamecocks (13-6, 1-1 SEC) jumped out to an early lead and held off several comeback attempts before putting the game away with six runs in the eighth inning.

“We played from behind since the first inning, but I thought our offense was really good today,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We had a situation where we got the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning, they fought the entire day.”

South Carolina wasn’t fooled by Jackson Kowar from the start. Leadoff hitter Noah Campbell hit a ball to the right field wall that he turned into an inside-the-park home run. Two batters later, Madison Stokes launched a two-run homer to right field to make it 3-0.

Kowar (3-1) found trouble again in the third inning, hitting the leadoff batter then walking LT Tolbert to put a pair on. After a fly ball moved the runner to third, a called balk brought in a run to make it 4-0.


Sunday

Who: Florida vs. South Carolina

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Founders Park, Columbia, S.C.

Radio: 103.7-FM

TV: ESPNU

Pitching matchup: UF RHP Tyler Dyson (3-1, 1.07 ERA) vs. TBD


Florida (17-4, 1-1) got on the board in the fourth on Deacon Liput’s RBI single that scored JJ Schwarz. Wil Dalton led off with his sixth home run of the season to cut the deficit to two but the Gamecocks responded.

South Carolina knocked Kowar from the game in the sixth, scoring five runs on five hits to take a 9-2 lead.

The Gators continued to claw back with three runs in the top of the seventh. Nick Horvath hit his third home run of the season and Dalton launched his second homer of the game to make it 9-5.

Blake Reese led off the eighth with a double and scored on Austin Langworthy’s RBI single to cut the deficit to three runs, but the Gamecocks put the game away in the bottom of the inning. USC hit a pair of homers and plated six runs off the UF bullpen. All 15 Carolina runs were earned and the teams combined for eight home runs.

“We just didn’t pitch very well today, I think we had 10 three-ball counts, five resulted in walks and they had a double too,” O’Sullivan said. “We just threw too many pitches. Too many predictable fastball counts. We’ve got to do a better job pitching ahead in the count.”

Jonathan India hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season in the ninth inning for the final margin.

2 COMMENTS

  1. That’s baseball. Just didn’t make the pitches when they needed too. I think India is a beast though. They definitely need to bat him behind Dalton, Maldonado, Dalton and Schwartz so teams will not start pitching around him. I would lead off with Maldonado though and bat Dalton third or fourth. India definitely has major league potential. I think the Gators have a solid infield with India at third, Liput at short and Reese at second. Liput just needs to get a few more games in to get back to his old form. No time to worry, its a long year and you can’t win them all in the SEC.

  2. Gators rebound today on the road in a big series win on the road. Butler pitched the best of the freshmen in a learning experience on the road. Byrne finished the 2 wins. Tough conference but anytime you can win 2 out of 3 on road, you remain in good shape. Go Gators.