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Josh Tobias had two hits in his first start in 10 games. Game 2 of the series begins at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friday April 11, 2014Three-Run Fifth Propels No. 4 South Carolina to Series-Opening Win Over Gators

Josh Tobias had two hits in his first start in 10 games. Game 2 of the series begins at 4 p.m. Saturday.

No. 4 South Carolina scored three in the fifth and added one in the eighth to earn a 4-1 series opening win over No. 25 Florida in Columbia. Freshman starter Logan Shore battled South Carolina (28-5, 8-5 SEC) left-hander Jordan Montgomery all night in front of a hostile sellout crowd.

 

Shore (3-2) scattered six hits and four runs over seven innings and looked to be in control early on after not allowing a base hit the first time through the order. After South Carolina’s three-run outburst in the fifth, Shore retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh before being pulled following a leadoff double in the eighth. Montgomery (5-2) picked up the win for the Gamecocks after going seven strong, striking out eight and allowing one run.

 

Florida (21-13, 7-6 SEC) had its chances late in the game, putting two men in scoring position in the seventh and loading the bases in the eighth. South Carolina closer Joel Seddon forced a double play in the eighth and faced four batters in the ninth to earn his ninth save of the year.

 

The Gators got on the board in the opening frame. Shortstop Richie Martin hit a one-out single and proceeded to steal second. Catcher Taylor Gushue came through with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Martin easily from second. Shore held the first five South Carolina batters off the base paths until hitting a batter in the second.

 

The Gamecocks took the lead in the fifth when the eight and nine hitters reached base. Shore forced the leadoff man Joey Pankake to hit a slow roller to the mound, but Shore’s throw to second was not in time, loading the bases. With one-out, Marcus Mooney executed an RBI safety squeeze. The home team added two more in the next at bat on Grayson Greiner’s two-out base hit to center.

 

Mooney led off the South Carolina eighth with a double, ending Shore’s night and sending in Ryan Harris out of the bullpen. Harris struck out one, but a sac bunt and an RBI single off the bat of Kyle Martin increased South Carolina’s lead to 4-1. Freshman A.J. Puk recorded the third out on a ground out to first.

 

Postgame Quotes:

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

“We did just enough to stay in the ball game tonight, but unfortunately didn’t do quite enough to get over the hump. I thought Montgomery was really good tonight. He had his changeup going and used his breaking ball early in the count the second time through the order. I thought they played very well. Credit them, but let’s get back out there tomorrow.”

 

“We had one out and nobody on, and we walk the eight hole hitter, which obviously you can’t do. We got into a fastball count with (Tanner) English and he hit a ball to left. Then we had the poor decision to throw the ball to second, English got a good jump and can really run. We had a 1-2 count and we just couldn’t bury it in the dirt, and they got a two-out RBI out of it. That ended up being the difference in the ball game.”

 

Florida Leaders:

·         Gushue registered his team leading 29th RBI in the first on a single to left. The base hit also extended his hitting streak to eight games.

·         Martin stole his ninth base of the season in the first inning after notching a one-out single to left. Martin came around to score his team-best 26th run of the year.

·         First baseman Peter Alonso extended his hit streak to four games with a one-out single to right in the second. Alonso’s second single of the game in seventh gives him nine multi-hit games this season.

·         Center fielder Harrison Bader increased his hitting streak to four games with a two-out single up the middle in the third. Bader stole his third base of the season in the eighth.

·         In his first start in 10 games, designated hitter Josh Tobias knocked a pair of singles. Tobias now has six multi-hit games on the year.

 

Series Nuggets:

·         Game Two begins at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Sophomore Aaron Rhodes (3-2, 2.48) will face off against Jack Wynkoop (5-2, 2.49).

·         South Carolina holds a 43-35 advantage in the all-time series, including a 23-13 record versus the Gators in Columbia.

·         Florida’s three-game win streak over South Carolina came to an end.

·         UF will need to win the next to games to secure 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 13-11 against South Carolina, 7-2 in Gainesville, 5-5 in Columbia, 1-1 at the SEC Tourney and 0-3 at the NCAA Tourney (all in Omaha).

·         South Carolina’s crowd of 8,242 was the largest the Gators have faced in a true road game this season.

 

Gators by the Numbers: 

·         UF’s pitching staff had not allowed a run since the sixth inning of the April 6, Kentucky game, a streak that lasted 15 innings after Tuesday night’s shutout of No. 1 Florida State.

·         Florida has claimed 15 of its last 22 contests and boasts a 6-7 record away from Gainesville (4-7 in true road games, 2-0 at neutral sites).

·         The Orange and Blue is 8-5 against top-25 opponents, including 6-1 against top-five competition this spring.

·         After 6 innings this year, Florida is 13-1 (.929) when leading, 1-12 (.077) when trailing and 7-0 (1.000) when tied.

·         Florida lost for only the second time this year when the starting pitcher goes five or more innings. UF had won 12 such games coming in.

·         The duo of Richie Martin (SS) and Turgeon (2B) has started all 34 games at their respective positions. Gushue has started all 34 games this year, with 27 coming at catcher and seven at designated hitter.

 

Pitching Probables:

                                No. 25 Florida (21-13/7-6 SEC)                       No. 4 South Carolina (28-5/8-5 SEC)

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)

 

Road Tripping: Tonight’s contest was the fifth of an eight-game road trip for the Gators. Florida is 2-3 after the first four games. The Gators will play game two of the three-game series against South Carolina on South Carolina at 4 p.m. and game three on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. before a midweek contest at Florida Gulf Coast.

 

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