COLUMBIA -- This is the scene many here dreamed about this weekend, a team dogpiling on the center of the Carolina Stadium diamond to celebrate an SEC title.
But, oh, wait, that's the wrong team partying.
Another close, well-earned victory against No. 6 South Car-olina led No. 4 Florida to the point of euphoria late Friday, again leaving a stadium-record 8,242 fans in disappointment.
Gators No. 9 hitter Josh Adams' three RBIs, including a two-out, two-run double in the seventh, led Florida to a 5-2 victory Friday to go with a 3-2 win Thursday.
The victories clinched the SEC regular season title for the Gators (40-12, 22-7 SEC).
"It was tough," Gamecocks outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said of watching the Gators celebrate on his home field. "But we're not going to be feeling bad about this, beating ourselves up. That's a great team over there."
Florida did to the Gamecocks
(42-13, 20-9) what no other SEC team did all year, come into Columbia and taking a series.
"We just didn't get it done as a team," said Adam Matthews, who homered early on Friday and has been USC's most consistent offensive performer so far this week.
In the loss, South Carolina got another very sturdy start from its veteran pitcher. Following Blake Cooper, hard-throwing right-hander Sam Dyson only gave up one hit in the first five innings.
Of all people, Adams -- hitting .216 coming in -- is the one that got Dyson (5-5) and the Gamecocks.
"I helped the team for once," Adams joked afterward.
Adams doubled to right-center and scored in the sixth. His two-out double in the seventh, a rip to right-center field, is what pushed the Gators ahead, 4-2. (Adams even had an insurance RBI single in the ninth, for his third RBI of the game.)
"It wasn't up to par," Dyson said, rolling his eyes at himself, when asked about Adams' at-bats in the sixth and seventh. "I didn't do what I should've done."
Up again late, Florida turned to its staunch bullpen. The Gators, who held USC to one run in 5 2/3 innings Thursday, kept South Carolina off the board in the final 3 2/3 innings Friday.
"We're getting used to it," Adams said. "It's normal. It's nice."
Tough left-hander Kevin Chapman pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up his 10th save of the season, and second in as many nights.
As was the case Thursday, South Carolina had runners in scoring position and opportunities to push them across. But USC just hasn't had the clutch-hitting gene the past two nights - oddly enough, especially from its best hitters.
Whit Merrifield, visibly frustrated late Friday, is 1 for 9 in the two games. (He was 0 for 5 on Friday.) Adrian Morales, the team's leading RBI man, is 0 for 8. He left a runner at third in the first inning.
Christian Walker, the team's freshman cleanup hitter, has hit into a double play in each of the first two games. He was 1 for 5 Friday and ended the game by flying out to center.
Whatever the Gamecocks have done well at the plate, they've managed to make their success moot. They were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position Friday.
Meanwhile, it seemed as if every time the Gators had a cracked door to score, they plated the run.
The fourth inning was a prime example. Matt den Dekker led off the inning with a single, Florida's first hit of the game, and stole second. (He's stole 21 times on 26 tries this season.)
A ground ball got den Dekker to third and Austin Maddox's sac fly to center scored the run to tie the game at 1.
Perfect illustration of the Gators out-smallballing the Gamecocks.
"They did a super job, maximizing their run-scoring opportunities," Tanner said of Florida. "We did not."
Everything's not lost for South Carolina, which dropped only its second SEC series of the season.
"This is just something small," said Bradley, who added the team's goal is to win in Omaha, not the SEC. "We've got a lot of baseball left."
The Gamecocks could certainly use a victory today (4 p.m., Fox Sports Net) to boost their standing in the RPI -- which would then help them when the NCAA tournament selection committee determines whether USC deserves a top-eight national seed.
"We're going out here (today) to win," Bradley said. "We don't like losing."
Of course, how South Carolina plays in next week's SEC tournament also will factor in.
The Gamecocks haven't hosted a regional since 2007. They'll do that, but they haven't hosted a super regional since 2004 -- the school's last trip to the College World Series.
Starter note: As of Friday night, Tanner was still uncertain who he'll start in this afternoon's game. Freshman left-hander Tyler Webb started last week in the Gamecocks' victory at Arkansas.
Sophomore lefty Nolan Belcher and senior right-hander Jay Brown are also in the mix.