No. 7 South
Carolina (21-3/4-1 SEC) rallied from a 5-2 deficit with four runs in the fifth,
highlighted by a two-out, three-run homer by junior Robbie Grinestaff,
to hand No. 9 Florida (17-10/2-3 SEC) a 6-5 defeat in front of a packed house of
4,278 fans at Sarge Frye Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Gamecocks clinched the series with their fourth straight victory and
emerged victorious against the Gators in a home series for the fifth
consecutive time dating back to 1996.
Mike Cisco (3-0) went 5.1 innings to pick up the win, allowing nine hits and
five runs with five strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Wynn Pelzer hurled 3.2
scoreless innings, with five K, three walks and zero hits, to collect his
second save. Sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian,
Fla.) (5-2) dropped his
second-straight start by surrendering career highs in hits (14) and runs (six).
The righty notched eight strikeouts over 7.1 innings
and issued one walk.
Florida plated two runs in the first off Cisco
to open the scoring for the first time in six games. Junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.)
connected on a leadoff home run to left field for his team-leading sixth dinger
of the campaign. It was the first round-tripper to start a contest for the
Gators since Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.)
accomplished the feat against Mercer on March 1, 2005. Davis
drew a walk and moved into scoring position with his fifth stolen base of the
year before junior Matt LaPorta (Port
poked an RBI single into left center for a 2-0 lead.
bottom of the inning, the Gamecocks countered with three-straight two-out
singles off Augenstein for a 2-1 deficit. After the
right-hander set down the first two USC hitters, senior Michael Campbell
singled through the right side and senior Neil Giesler
increased his hitting streak to 16 games with a base-hit up the middle. Junior
Drew Martin delivered an RBI single to center to bring across the hosts’
Carolina evened the score at 2-2 in the
third but was denied for more when the Gators turned a pivotal inning-ending
double play. Campbell lashed a one-out single
and advanced to second when Florida
fumbled the ball in the outfield. Giesler raised his
batting average to .500 (40-for-80) with an RBI single and Martin sliced a
base-hit just inside the right-field line for runners on the corners. Augenstein had Grinestaff ground
to Davis, who stepped on second and then fired over to LaPorta
to keep the game tied.
cranked a three-run bomb with two down in the fourth to put the Gators back on
top, 5-2. Junior Brian Jeroloman (Wellington,
Fla.) started the frame with
a walk and moved to second on Petrie’s second hit of the afternoon. Cisco
struck out sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro,
N.C.) and was ahead of Dickey
1-2 before the junior launched his seventh dinger of the year over the left-field
wall. Dickey’s multiple-homer effort was the second of his career, as he
accomplished the feat on Feb. 12 in a 20-4 rout of Cincinnati.
a three-run homer with two out by Grinestaff, the
Gamecocks seized a 6-5 advantage in the fifth. Junior Cheyne
Hurst roped a leadoff double and scored when sophomore Trent Kline’s single to
center was misplayed. Augenstein answered with strikeouts
of Campbell and Giesler before walking Martin on four
pitches. Grinestaff jacked a 0-1 offering deep to
right for his team-leading sixth home run to give the hosts their first lead of
the afternoon. It was only the second homer allowed by Augenstein
Junior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.)
punched a single to open the sixth and stole second. Gaski
stroked a one-out single to give UF runners on the corners and end the
afternoon for Cisco. Pelzer came in to strike out Dickey and Davis earned a free pass to fill the bases. The
reliever caught LaPorta looking on strikes to bring
the Gators’ total to seven left on base.
Junior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
began the seventh with a walk but was erased at second when sophomore Brandon McArthur’s (Seffner, Fla.)
sacrifice attempt went right to the pitcher. After Jeroloman’s
grounder advanced McArthur, Pelzer had Pride tap out to second base.
Justin Smoak launched a double off the wall in center
with one down in the eighth, prompting a pitching change. Augenstein
worked 7.1 innings, the seventh start in a row he has hurled at least seven
frames. Senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) kept the score 6-5 by striking out freshman
James Darnell and popping Hurst
up to short. LaPorta drew a one-out walk in the ninth
but Pelzer fanned Leclerc and had McArthur ground out
to end the game.
South Carolina out-hit the Gators, 14-9, as Giesler was 3-for-4 and the trio of Campbell, Hurst and
Martin chipped in with two hits apiece. Dickey went 3-for-5 and matched his
career high with four RBI. Junior Forrest Beverly (4-1, 4.15 ERA) will start
tomorrow’s finale at 1:30 p.m. against a starter to be named later.
- The Gators’ three-game losing
streak matches their season high between Feb. 26-March 4 (4-0 to Wake Forest,
6-4 to Florida
State, 4-0 to Texas A&M).
- Bryan Augenstein
had given up 31 hits in 48.1 innings entering today’s game and had
permitted a total of eight earned runs.
- Florida left nine runners on base,
compared to seven for South
- The Gamecocks improved to 19-1
at home this season.