USC salvaged a win Saturday in the Florida series defeating the Gators 4-1 in a game in which four Gamecock pitchers combined on a three-hitter. The game was interrupted by rain for a couple of hours. It was worth the wait for the Gamecocks who avoided a regular season losing record with the victory. The Gamecocks will go to the SEC Tournament at 27-27 overall and 13-17 in the league.
And the Gamecocks will see the Gators again on Tuesday afternoon in the second game of the play-in round. They are the #10 seed and the Gators are the #7 seed. The winner advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and will face Texas A&M Wednesday afternoon.
Mark Kingston started Will Sanders Saturday, but he was on a pitch count so that he could be brought back to start Tuesday. Sanders threw 28 pitches in his one inning of work. He did not allow a run or a hit and struck out three while walking two.
Cade Austin (5-1) relieved Sanders in the second inning and worked through the fourth. He allowed the Gators’ only run while giving up just two hits and two walks. Matthew Becker and John Gilreath pitched the final five innings and gave up just one hit though they did walk five.
The Gamecocks scored single runs in each of the first three innings. Josiah Sighter homered in the first and the third, part of a three-hit day, and Colin Burgess drove in a run in the second with a single. Evan Stone plated the Gamecocks’ final run with a bunt single to first that scored Matt Hogan from third.