Thursday April 10, 2014No. 25 Gator Baseball Faces No. 4 South Carolina In Pivotal SEC Series
It will be a meeting of SEC East co-leaders, as No. 25 Florida (21-12/7-5 SEC) visits No. 4 South Carolina (27-5/7-5 SEC) at Carolina Stadium for three games this weekend. Game times for the series are 7 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The entire series be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and the series will be streamed on Gamecocks All Access with South Carolina’s announce team. Live stats for each game will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.
No. 25 Florida (21-12/7-5 SEC) No. 4 South Carolina (27-5/7-5 SEC)
Friday: Logan Shore, Fr., RHP (3-1, 1.15) Jordan Montgomery, Jr., LHP (4-2, 3.83)
Saturday: Aaron Rhodes, So., RHP (3-2, 2.48) Jack Wynkoop, So., LHP (5-2, 2.49)
Sunday: TBA Will Crowe, Fr., RHP (6-1, 2.08)
QUICK HITS ABOUT THE GATORS
· The Gators are tied for first place in the SEC’s Eastern Division with No. 4 South Carolina (27-5/7-5 SEC). Through four SEC series, the Gators are tied for second overall in the league, one game behind No. 16 Alabama (22-10/8-4 SEC)
· UF is 2-2 in its league series this year, downing Arkansas and No. 4 LSU at home and falling to Texas A&M and No. 19 Kentucky on the road.
· Florida has claimed 15 of its last 21 contests and boasts a 6-6 record away from Gainesville (4-6 in true road games, 2-0 at neutral sites).
· South Carolina is 22-1 (.957) on its own turf this season, with its lone setback to No. 12 Ole Miss on March 14 by a score of 6-4.
· The Orange and Blue is 8-4 (.667) against top-25 opponents, including a perfect 6-0 against top-five competition this spring.
· Florida is 2-2 after the first four games of its season-high eight-game road trip. After the series with the Gamecocks and a midweek contest at Florida Gulf Coast, the Gators will enjoy a run of eight-straight contests at McKethan Stadium, where they are 15-6 (.714).
· Freshman right-hander Logan Shore (3-1, 1.15) evened the Kentucky series on Saturday with a seven scoreless innings in which UK was 3-for-23 (.130) against him. He will start the opener against the Gamecocks.
· Freshman third baseman John Sternagel (.341) is 11-for-29 (.379) since taking over at third base on March 25 vs. Florida State in Jacksonville and has zero errors.
· In Tallahassee on Tuesday night, sophomore left-hander Danny Young (4-0, 1.61) matched his career best with five strikeouts and tied his season best with five innings pitched. Young has not allowed a run in 10-consecutive appearances, a streak that spans 15 innings.
· Junior Casey Turgeon’s fifth-inning home run against FSU was his third of the season and third career three-run homer. The second baseman (.266, 20 RBI) has 12 career home runs and leads the team with six game-winning RBI this spring.
· Junior catcher Taylor Gushue (.322, 28 RBI) led off the eighth against FSU with his team-leading 11th double of the year. Gushue extended his hitting streak with seven games with the base knock.
· The Gator offense had a .324 (36-for-111) clip in the series with the Wildcats, with seven walks, four sacrifice flies, three doubles and three homers. Florida’s offense erupted for eight runs on 10 hits against Florida State and has plated 27 runs in the last three games.
· UF blasted three homers during its series with Kentucky and one against the Seminoles, increasing its round-tripper total to 14 in 2014.
· After 6 innings this year, Florida is 13-1 (.929) when leading, 1-11 (.083) when trailing and 7-0 (1.000) when tied.
· Nineteen of the Gators’ 33 games this season have been decided by 2 runs or less: UF is 8-5 (.636) in 1-run and 4-2 (.667) in 2-run games.
· Florida has provided the fans with free baseball 6 times already and boasts a 4-2 (.667) mark.
· The duo of Richie Martin (SS) and Turgeon (2B) has started all 33 games at their respective positions. Gushue has started all 33 games this year, with 26 coming at catcher and seven at designated hitter.
South Carolina holds a 42-35 (.545) advantage in the all-time series, including a 22-13 (.629) record versus the Gators in Columbia. Florida claimed all three meetings last season at McKethan Stadium and has captured four of the last five regular-season series between the SEC East rivals (3-0 in 2009, 2-1 in 2010, 1-2 in 2011, 2-1 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013). UF is seeking its third-consecutive series triumph at Carolina Stadium after notching victories in 2010 (W, W, L) and 2012 (L, W, W).
Kevin O’Sullivan is 13-10 (.565) against South Carolina, 7-2 (.778) in Gainesville, 5-4 (.556) in Columbia, 1-1 (.500) at the SEC Tourney and 0-3 (.000) at the NCAA Tourney (all in Omaha).
2013 SERIES RECAP
Florida completed a weekend sweep of No. 8 South Carolina (3-2, 4-3, 14-5) in Gainesville last April. It marked only the fourth time in school history that the Gators swept the Gamecocks in a regular-season series, first time since 2009.
Johnny Magliozzi saved the first two wins over the Gamecocks, both by a run. Vickash Ramjit was 6-for-9 (.667) in the series, while Harrison Bader hit .444 (4-for-9), with a team-leading four RBI and was 2-for-2 on the basepaths.
UF exploded for 10 runs on eight hits in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 stalemate en route to a 14-5 victory over USC on Saturday. Bader delivered a two-run, two-out single in the eighth as Florida rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the inning to notch a 4-3 triumph on Friday night.
Turgeon (2-for-4) started UF’s decisive rally with a base-hit up the middle, Justin Shafer delivered a single into center field for two runners aboard with one down and Ramjit walked to load the bags. Josh Tobias then narrowed the gap to 3-2 with an RBI grounder that brought home Turgeon. Bader moved the Gators in front by slicing a 1-1 offering into left field that brought across Shafer and Ramjit to give the hosts a 4-3 advantage. With Gamecocks on second and third base in the ninth, Magliozzi had a game-ending strikeout to nail down his eighth save in nine opportunities.
Florida threw out TJ Costen diving back to third base for the final out to seal a 3-2 victory on Thursday night. With Costen on second base and two down, Chase Vergason had punched a single into right field off of Magliozzi. As Costen was coming around third base, he slipped as the relay throw came in from right fielder Cory Reid to Gushue, who fired a bullet to Tobias, who prevented Costen from reaching the bag and ended the game.