No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 13 Florida, game 2 recap: Gamecocks fall to Gators 4-3

USA TODAY Sports

In a game that lasted about four hours, South Carolina couldn't quite hold off Florida, who completed a comeback to even the series.

The first four and a half innings of today's game were a pitcher's duel, with both sides recording only a handful of hits. Fortunately, USC finally had enough of that and got on the board in the fifth inning.

DC Arendas, playing again for the still-ailing Max Schrock, started things off with a single. Tanner English laid down a sac bunt, then Joey Pankake knocked a two-out RBI double to get the Gamecocks on the board. Marcus Mooney followed that with an RBI single, making it 2-0 in favor of the home team.

Carolina had a chance to blow things open in the sixth, but managed just one run. Elliott Caldwell knocked a one-out base hit and came home on an RBI single from Tanner English. Gene Cone and Pankake walked to fill the bases with Gamecocks, but they were all left stranded as Mooney hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

The Gators ended the shutout in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter A.J. Puk came through with an RBI double that brought Buddy Reed home from first and made it 3-1. An RBI single from Richie Martin really made things interesting, then a combo of an intentional walk and a single from Braden Mattson packed the bases with UF players. Peter Alonso grounded out to end the inning, though, and USC escaped with a slim 3-2 lead.

The bottom of the inning saw two-out hits from English and Cone, then an intentional walk to Pankake, which loaded the bases for the Gamecocks again. Unfortunately, they again left all three runners stranded.

That was especially unfortunate because the Gators tied the game in the top of the ninth, thanks to an RBI sac fly from Casey Turgeon. It was the first earned run allowed this season by Joel Seddon. Carolina couldn't get much of anything going in the bottom of the inning, which meant bonus baseball at Carolina Stadium.

The teams stranded 1-2-3 innings and stranded baserunners for a while, until Florida took a 4-3 lead in the 13th inning, thanks to an RBI sac fly from Justin Schafer. USC had no answer in the bottom of the inning, and the Gators completed the comeback to even the series.

Jack Wynkoop was dealing for South Carolina today. He worked seven innings and allowed five hits, no runs, walked one batter, and struck out three. Cody Mincey made a brief appearance for the Gamecocks before Seddon entered to do a lot of relief work. He went five innings and surrendered four hits, two runs, issued two walks, and tallied five K's. He took the loss, though, and falls to 1-1. Taylor Widener also pitched for Carolina.

Gators starter Aaron Rhodes lasted five innings and gave up six hits, two runs, walked one batter, and struck out four. Puk earned the win and improves to 3-2.

Pankake and English each had three hits to lead the Gamecocks, while

South Carolina drops to 28-6 (8-6 in the SEC) and Florida improves to 22-13 (8-6 in conference play). tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.

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