South Carolina eliminated by Florida in SEC
HOOVER, Ala. — Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter and Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer to lead Florida to a 7-2 win over South Carolina Friday night, eliminating the two-time defending national champions from the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Gators (42-17) face Vanderbilt today for a shot at the championship. The Gamecocks (40-17) went 1-2.
Johnson (7-4) pitched his first career complete game.
“He didn’t misfire all night,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “He executed his pitches all night long, and that’s really what you have to do against a team like South Carolina.”
The Gamecocks only managed one threat off Johnson before the final inning. They had back-to-back singles to open the sixth but Johnson got Joey Pankake to ground into a run-scoring double play.
Casey Turgeon added a two-run single in the three-run fifth to make it 7-0.
Zunino had an RBI groundout in the first and then ?delivered his league-leading 16th home run in the third for a 4-0 lead.
Chase Vergason went 2 for 3 for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks had beaten Florida twice in the College World Series to claim the ?national title last season, but were outhit, 11-5.
Starter Colby Holmes (6-1) couldn’t make it out of the third.
The Gamecocks won national titles after winning one game in last season’s SEC tournament and going 0-2 in 2010.
“The good news is we have played pretty well after this, ?after not being very good here,” South Carolina coach Ray ?Tanner said. “Hopefully that trend will continue.”