Starter Brandon Neely strikes out 10 in Florida Gators baseball's shutout victory over Gamecocks

Zachary Huber
Gators Wire
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Florida baseball starter Brandon Neely bounced back in dominant fashion versus South Carolina after an uncharacteristic start against the Missouri Tigers last weekend where he allowed four earned runs.

On Friday, he struck out a career-high 10 batters and only gave up three hits along with no free passes while shutting out South Carolina for seven innings. He also tossed an impressive 70 strikes in only 96 pitches.

"He kind of reminds me of Logan Shore that we had. A guy that can really pitch. There's other guys who might throw a little bit harder… but he really locates," coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of Neely. "He can change speeds. It's hard to really put an anything together because he really doesn't hurt himself. It seems like he's always in 1-2 counts, or 2-2 counts, rather than 3-1, 2-1 counts. He's pretty advanced in that sense as far as knowing how to pitch and executing pitches."

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Florida pitcher Brandon Neely (22) had a career-high 10 strikeouts in Game 2 of the series against South Carolina, Friday, May 20, 2022, at Condron Family Ballpark in Gainesville, Florida.

Jud Fabian hits 20th home run

The Gators (35-19, 15-14 SEC) also poured on eight runs to shutout the Gamecocks (26-27, 12-17 SEC) and grabbed the series victory on Friday at Condron Ballpark. Friday's big win came on the heels of the Gators' 14-5 victory in the series opener on Thursday night.

On Friday, UF scored three runs in the third and two runs in the fifth and the seventh and one in the eighth. Centerfielder Jud Fabian and shortstop Joshua Rivera both went long in the contest.

Fabian's home run was his 20th of the season, which made quite a bit of history. He became the second Gators hitter all-time besides Brad Wilkerson to smash 20 dingers in back-to-back seasons. Leftfielder Wyatt Langford also entered Florida's record book besides Fabian. They are the only two Gators hitters to record 20 plus homers in a single season.

Fabian finished the evening three for four with two RBIs. Second baseman Sterlin Thompson also tallied two hits. He went two for four with an RBI.

After Neely was pulled in the eighth, reliever Blake Purnell and Anthony Ursitti followed and picked up right where their starter left off. They finished the game without allowing a hit and struck out a Gamecock.

Regular-season finale

The Gators will go for the sweep at 2 p.m. today when they play South Carolina to conclude the regular season. Saturday's finale will include pregame Senior Day festivities. It'll also be fans' last chance to listen to Mick Hubert who's retiring as the voice of the Gators after the game.

Where and when are the Florida Gators playing South Carolina? 

WHERE: Condron Ballpark, UF campus in Gainesville. 

WHEN: 2 p.m. today. 

How can I watch Florida vs. South Carolina series on live stream?

Live stream: SEC Network+ and ESPN Plus

How can I listen to Florida vs. South Carolina on radio?

Radio: ESPN 98.1FM and 850AM WRUF in Gainesville and WJXL 1010AM in Jacksonville. 

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