Junior Arik Hempy set a career-high with
12 strikeouts as No. 7 South Carolina (20-3/3-1 SEC) topped No. 9 Florida
(17-9/2-2 SEC), 4-1, to begin the teams’ SEC weekend series on Friday night at Sarge Frye Field. Hempy (2-1)
scattered three hits and yielded just one run over 7.2 innings and sophomore
Andrew Cruse picked up his first save of the year with 1.1 scoreless innings.
Senior Neil Giesler (2-for-3) extended his hitting
streak to a career-high 15 games and drove in a pair of runs, while the
Gamecock pitching staff totaled 15 strikeouts, the most against UF this
put their first two runners aboard against Hempy in
the second but could not take advantage of the opportunity. Sophomore Brandon McArthur (Seffner,
Fla.) struck out but reached on a wild
pitch and junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
drew a walk. The left-hander worked out of the jam by having junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
pop up before fanning juniors Chris
Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.)
and Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee,
Although South Carolina loaded
the bases with one down in the bottom of the frame, it could not break the ice.
Giesler kept his hitting streak going with a leadoff
single to right and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.)
issued consecutive walks to sophomore Trent Kline and freshman Reese Havens to
load the bases. The righty had freshman Justin Smoak fly out to right and Dickey made a beautiful running
catch at the base of the wall to rob senior Mark Stanley of extra bases.
For Florida, junior Brian
Fla.) opened the fourth with
a walk and was sacrificed to second by McArthur. Hempy
stranded the runner with a strikeout of Leclerc and
had Pride fly out to center.
Gamecocks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fifth and knocked Ball out of the
game. Junior Cheyne Hurst walked to start things off,
the right-hander’s career-high sixth free pass issued, and was moved over on a
bunt by senior Chris Brown. Senior Michael Campbell roped an RBI double down
the left-field line to open the scoring and Giesler
punched a single through the right side to drive in his teammate and force a
pitching change. Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.)
replaced Ball (4-3, 4.1 IP, 4H, 2R, 6 BB, 2K) and whiffed junior Drew Martin
cut the deficit in half in the sixth on a sacrifice fly to left by Jeroloman. Juniors Adam
Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
and Matt LaPorta
(Port Charlotte, Fla.) began the inning with consecutive
singles against Hempy, the first hits the southpaw allowed
in the contest. The duo advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and Jeroloman’s third sac fly put UF on the board. A grounder
by McArthur pushed LaPorta to third and Hempy induced an inning-ending groundout by Leclerc.
South Carolina added two runs in the seventh for a
4-1 lead. Brown led off the frame with a single to left and Campbell
roped a 3-2 offering from Hurst
for runners on the corners with none out. An RBI grounder by Giesler provided USC with a 3-1 advantage and prompted a UF
change on the mound. Martin greeted sophomore reliever Josh Edmondson (LaGrange,
Ga.) with a run-scoring
single and advanced to second on a fielding error. Edmondson prevented further
scoring by retiring Kline (flyout) and Havens
gave up three hits and two runs over two innings.
second hit of the game with two down in the eighth ended the night for Hempy and brought in junior Chase Tucker from the bullpen.
The reliever plunked Jeroloman and was replaced by
Cruse. The right-hander had McArthur pop up his initial pitch for the final out
of the inning.
led off the ninth with a walk and raced over to third on a base-hit to left by
Pride. Pride stole second base to give the Gators two runners in scoring
position before Cruse slammed the door with three-straight strikeouts of
Petrie, Dickey and senior pinch hitter Stephen
Barton (Miami, Fla.). South
Carolina out-hit the Gators by a 9-4 margin, as Campbell (2-for-3, two runs) and Giesler led the way. Sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian,
Fla.) (5-1, 1.49) will face
freshman Mike Cisco (2-0, 1.29) in tomorrow’s second game of the series at 4
- Bryan Ball’s previous high of
five walks occurred against Mississippi
State on May 13,
- Matt LaPorta’s
sixth-inning single snapped an 0-for-15 career
drought against South Carolina.
- Tonight was Florida’s
first contest outside of the Sunshine
State this season,
game time temperature was 52 degrees.
- All of the Gators’ four hits
- The opponent has scored first
the last five games against Florida.
- Every starter for the Gators
struck out at least once except Austin Pride (1-for-4).