USC takes 2 of 3: Gamecocks next host Citadel on Wednesday
No. 4 South Carolina 4, No. 1 Florida 3
GAINESVILLE, FLA. -- Fourth-ranked South Carolina rallied from three runs down and three Gamecocks relievers combined to hurl seven shutout innings as USC defeated No. 1 Florida, 4-3, on Sunday at McKethan Stadium to clinch a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series.
After scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game, 3-3, the Gamecocks (18-5, 4-2 in SEC) went ahead for the first time in the top of the eighth.
Adam Matthews doubled to lead off the inning and Peter Mooney was hit by a pitch to give USC a pair of runners with no outs. Jackie Bradley Jr. then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners
and Christian Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases and set the stage for Adrian Morales. With a full count, Morales walked on a pitch from Toledo that was high and inside to give Carolina a 4-3 lead over Florida (21-4, 4-2).
That was all that the Gamecocks needed as Matt Price settled in to retire the Gators in both the eighth and ninth innings to seal the victory. Price (2-2) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one.
"There are a lot of battles in the SEC," said USC coach Ray Tanner. "Our guys kept competing and we fought back and were able to win a tough game on the road."
Florida struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second inning, but USC reliever Colby Holmes kept the game in check as he went three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out two.
South Carolina won despite having only five hits on the day. Matthews went 2 for 4 with two runs scored although he had to leave the game in the ninth with a strained left hamstring.
The Gamecocks, which won two out of three against Florida this weekend, next plays Wednesday when they host The Citadel at 7 p.m.
E--Fontana. DP--USC 1. LOB--USC 7, Florida 8. 2B--Matthews 2, Bradley, Pigott, Zunino. SH--Bradley, Adams. CS--Mooney.