If it’s true chicks dig the long ball, they were in love with Florida Friday night.
The top ranked Gators blasted four home runs, including two in the first inning, cruising to an 8-2 win over USC. It evens the series at a game a piece.
Forrest Koumas didn’t seem to have much of a chance on the mound. After striking out the first batter, Koumas allowed a single to Daniel Piggot, walked Preston Tucker, then gave up a three-run blast to catcher Mike Zunino. Brian Johnson followed with a solo shot on Koumas’ next pitch.
With the floodgates open Koumas’s struggled with his control and his focus. A balk cost him another run in the first and he left the game before recording an out in the second inning. He allowed six earned runs on four hits and walked five batters in his one inning of work.
AUDIO: Forrest Koumas & Christian Walker [2:41]
Nolan Belcher relived Koumas. Christian Walker put the Gamecocks on the board with a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning that cut the lead to 5-1. That would be as close as USC would get.
In addition to Zunino and Johnson’s first inning homers, Vickash Ramjit also hit two solo shots. Ramjit entered the game in the third inning as part of a defensive switch following a wrist injury to Florida third baseman Josh Tobias.
AUDIO: Ray Tanner [5:20]
The loss drops USC to 17-6, 1-4 in SEC play. The Gators improve to 21-2, 4-1 in the conference.
The rubber game is slated for 1:00 tomorrow, weather permitting. Colby Holmes will start on the mound for USC.