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No. 6 South Carolina vs. North Florida game recap: Gamecocks lose to Ospreys 8-5

USC’s rough stretch continued in the midweek matchup

The Big Spur

In a game that featured an extended pause due to bad weather, No. 6 South Carolina again couldn’t come through when it mattered most on offense, falling to North Florida 8-5 on Tuesday night.

The Gamecocks got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first after Dylan Brewer took a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Gavin Casas. That score held until the third, when the Ospreys ended the shutout and went up 5-1 courtesy of bases-loaded singles from Cherokee Nichols, Gabriel Esquivel, Dallen Leach, and Matthew Clements.

USC got a few runs back in the next inning. Michael Braswell reached on an error to start things off, and later came home on a base hit by Carson Hornung to make the score 5-2, then Evan Stone went yard with two outs to make it a 5-4 game. UNF tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth, thanks to a single from Clements and an Aidan Sweatt groundout, pushing their lead to 7-4. The Cocks’ final run came in the bottom of the inning, when Braswell walked to lead off and later came home on a fly out by Stone, making the score 7-5. The Ospreys scored the final run of the game on a triple by Austin Brinling in the seventh. Carolina had chances to tie or take the lead in the seventh and eighth innings, but stranded the bases loaded both times.

Gamecocks starter James Hicks pitched one inning and didn’t allow any hits or runs. He also walked one batter and struck one out. Dylan Eskew, Nick Proctor, Austin Williamson, Cade Austin, Wesley Sweatt, Brett Thomas, and Sam Simpson combined to go the rest of the way for USC, and Eskew took the loss, making him 0-1. North Florida starter Avery Love worked 3.2 innings and gave up four hits and four runs. He also issued three walks and struck out four batters. Reliever Tony Roca got the win and is now 1-4, while reliever Will Ohme earned the save, his first.

Casas, Hornung and Ethan Petry each had two hits to pace the Cocks at the plate, while Stone recorded three RBI. Six different Ospreys players had two hits apiece, and Nichols and Clements tallied two RBI each.

South Carolina is now 35-12 overall, while UNF is 26-23 on the season. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Friday, when they open up a series on the road against No. 3 Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.