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Florida starter Bobby Poyner had a strong outing Thursday against South Carolina.

Thursday May 22, 2014Florida Takes Down South Carolina 7-2 to Stay Alive in SEC Tournament

Florida starter Bobby Poyner had a strong outing Thursday against South Carolina.

HOOVER, Ala. -- Bobby Poyner threw five shutout innings and Taylor Gushue tied the game with a two-run single in the third inning to propel the Florida baseball team to a 7-2 win over South Carolina on Thursday afternoon. With the win, the Gators stay alive in the 2014 SEC Tournament and will play again Friday night against Mississippi State, who lost to Kentucky 7-6 in 12 innings on Thursday.

After falling behind early for the second day in a row, the Gators used a three-run third inning to take the lead and the Florida pitching staff shut down South Carolina for the rest of the day, allowing just two hits over the final six innings with no runs.

The Gamecocks got on the board first in the second inning, plating a run after a pair of doubles. They extended their lead in the third with a home run by Kyle Martin.

In the bottom half of the third, Florida’s Casey Turgeon started a two-out rally with an infield single to second base. An error and hit batter loaded the bases for Gushue, who stroked a single up the middle to plate two runs. Braden Mattson followed with a bunt single that scored Harrison Bader from third base to give the Gators a 3-2 lead.

Florida added another pair of runs in the fourth inning. After starting the inning with back-to-back walks, Turgeon hit a one-out single to right field to score Justin Shafer. Richie Martin singled through the left side, bringing Josh Tobias home for a 5-2 Gator lead.

Tobias provided an insurance run in the sixth inning, hitting his third home run of the season into the bullpen in left field. The Gators final run came in the eighth, as Turgeon singled for the third time on the day and Shafer scored after he got on base with a single.

Freshman starter A.J. Puk pitched four innings and allowed two runs. He also had a single after entering the game as the designated hitter in the fifth inning.

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

“That was a well played game by both sides. It was a clean game on both sides. We were just fortunate there to score a couple two-out runs. We put some good at bats together. We have kind of won that way the whole year.  We got contributions from everyone up and down the lineup. We played fairly clean but it was a good game by both teams.”

Junior Taylor Gushie, C

“We didn’t play the game we wanted to yesterday. Coming back into today, we needed to get some specific jobs done. We needed to get back to playing our game of baseball. I think we did a good job of that today.”

Junior Bobby Poyner, LHP

“I thought today was a really good learning experience for our guys. Going into tournament play, this is something no one in this club with freshman had experienced. Today was good and I really thought we handled it well.”

Game Notes

  • UF is now 56-57 all-time in SEC Tournament play.
  • With today’s win over No. 6 South Carolina, the Gators are now 15-8 against Top 25 teams this season, including a 10-3 record against Top 10 opponents.
  • Florida improved to 4-1 against the Gamecocks in 2014. UF won 2-of-3 games in Columbia earlier this season.
  • After today’s result, Florida is 3-4 all-time against South Carolina in the SEC Tournament.
  • Nine of the 11 Gator players reached base in today’s game.
  • Taylor Gushue collected his 68th hit and 48th RBI of the season today. He leads the club in both categories.
  • Richie Martin scored his team-leading 47th run of season in the bottom-half of the third inning.
  • Josh Tobias hit his 3rd home run of the year in the bottom-half of the sixth inning.

Up Next

The Gators will face Mississippi State in Friday’s game two (approximately 7:30 p.m. ET – 30 minutes following game one, which starts at 4 p.m. ET).

Follow the Gators

Live stats for each game are available on and fans can also receive updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.

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