When the best thing you can say about a game is "We didn't get shut out/mercy ruled!", it probably was not a very enjoyable game. Alas, the Gamecocks' losing streak in Hoover continued, as a promising beginning turned into a disappointing finish this afternoon.
USC actually got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Joey Pankake led off with a double, advanced thanks to DC Arendas, and came home on an RBI double from Tanner English.
The Gamecocks' only other run came in the next inning, when Kyle Martin homered to make it 2-0. Then things took a turn for the terrible.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Jack Wynkoop was unable to field a bunt cleanly, which put a second baserunner on for the Gators. Wynkoop hit Harrison Bader, loading the bases, then Taylor Gushue knocked a 2-RBI single to tie the game. Braden Mattson promptly contributed an RBI base hit of his own, giving UF the lead.
They tacked on runs in the sixth and eighth innings, too, while the Gamecocks barely managed to get anyone on base.
While the SEC Tournament isn't the end all, be all, and it's not particularly surprising that Carolina tanked it in Hoover, it's unfortunate all the same, as the loss almost certainly ends any hope the Gamecocks had of being a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Not being a national seed obviously isn't a kiss of death, but it would've been nice to guarantee home field advantage. No seeding is going to matter if they can't find a way to get runners on base - and then get them home - though.
Regional hosts will be announced Sunday night, and South Carolina is pretty much a lock to be on the list. If they make it past that round, though, it's a lot hazier as to where they'll be playing.