South Carolina’s performance in conference games (and all games, if we’re being honest) this baseball season has been up and down to say the least, and it was down again on Thursday night, as the Gamecocks dropped the opener of the series against Florida.
The Gators got on the board first, going up 6-0 in the third inning. After back-to-back walks to start the inning, Florida took a 3-0 lead on a home run from Brady McConnell, then added three more runs on a trio of RBI singles from Kendrick Calilao, Cory Acton, and Jud Fabian.
USC ended the shutout in the top of the fifth inning when Jonah Beamon walked to start things off, advanced on a wild pitch, and came home on a one-out RBI sac fly by George Callil, making the score 6-1. The Gators got that run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to an Acton two-out RBI double that made it 7-1.
The Gamecocks scored a couple more runs in the seventh inning. Beamon reached on a fielder’s choice with one out, Noah Campbell doubled, and a pair of wild pitches got them both home to make it a 7-3 game.
Florida’s final two runs came in the next inning thanks to a wild pitch and a sac fly RBI by Fabian. South Carolina added their last two runs in the ninth inning. Jordan Holladay and Beamon took back-to-back walks to start things off, Ian Jenkins brought Holladay in with an RBI double, and Beamon scored on a two-out sac fly by TJ Hopkins.
Gamecocks starter Reid Morgan had an uncharacteristically rough outing, pitching five innings and giving up nine hits and seven runs. He walked three batters and struck two out. Morgan took the loss and is now 3-2. Gage Hinson, Daniel Lloyd, and Cole Ganopulos also took the mound in this game. Gators starter Tommy Mace got the win and is now 6-3.
USC drops to 20-14 overall and 3-10 in the SEC, while Florida improves to 23-13 overall and 4-9 in conference play. They’ll meet again on Friday, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.