The Gamecocks had a chance to win a big SEC series as part of righting the ship after a rocky few weeks. For most of the game, it looked like they’d get the job done. Instead, they fell apart late and lost another conference match-up.
South Carolina was on the board first, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. TJ Hopkins started things off with a single, then came home on a blooper from LT Tolbert, combined with some shaky Florida fielding. Tolbert moved to third on a balk, and a Carlos Cortes RBI groundout brought him in.
The Gators cut into the lead in the second inning when a run scored on a double play. Florida loaded the bases in the next inning but could only get one run out of it, tying the game.
The Gamecocks tacked on another run in the fifth inning with some help from a balk that allowed Hopkins to advance to second base and an RBI double by Cortes that brought Hopkins home, making the score 3-2.
In the sixth inning, the Gators tied the game again with a solo home run from Nelson Maldonado.
South Carolina’s final two runs of the game came in the seventh inning. After Cortes singled with one out, Chris Cullen belted a two-run homer to put the Gamecocks up 7-5.
Unfortunately, Florida wasn’t done scoring. They loaded the bases again in the eighth inning, then JJ Schwarz blasted a grand slam to put the Gators on top for good.
Starter Adam Hill struggled somewhat today. He worked just 3 1⁄3 innings and allowed four hits and two runs. He also walked four batters and struck out two. While his stat line isn’t that bad, he was kinda wild today, and not in a way that was effective. Hill’s pitch count was also higher than probably anyone would have liked. That being said, Josh Reagan and Colie Bowers also had off-days. The only other guy to pitch in this game, John Parke, did a nice job of preventing further damage after the grand slam.
With the loss, South Carolina drops to 24-15 overall and 9-9 in the SEC, while Florida is now 27-13 overall and 10-8 in conference play. The Gamecocks will have a bit of a break this week and will be back in action on Friday, when they open a series against Kentucky at Founders Park. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.