Founders Park: 6th ranked South Carolina finished off the showdown series with 3rd ranked Florida in style Saturday afternoon at Founders Park with a 7-5 victory to complete the sweep of the Gators. The Gamecocks also swept the Gators the last time they met in Columbia in 2021.
The Gamecocks moved into a first-place tie with Vanderbilt in the SEC East with a 13-4 mark as the Commodores dropped the first two games of their series with Tennessee. USC is 13-4 in the SEC and 34-6 overall. The Gamecocks are 24-1 at Founders Park, and they have climbed to #2 in the RPI.
This series completed a run of SEC games that also included two games against top ranked LSU and three against #4 Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks went 5-3 in those eight games.
For the first time in the series, USC struck first with a two-run homer by Braylen Wimmer in the bottom of the first. Cade Kurland cut the lead in half with a solo shot in the top of the second, but Wimmer got the run back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI grounder to third that scored Will Tippett from third.
Kurland made it a 4-2 game in the fifth with a leadoff homer off Matthew Becker, who was lifted after the inning allowing just two hits, the two home runs by Kurland. But the Gamecocks matched that run in the bottom of the inning on a two-out RBI single by Jonathan French.
James Hicks pitched the sixth and seventh innings for USC and allowed just one base runner on a walk. The Gators scored twice in the top of the eighth to make it a 6-4 game. The Gamecocks then loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the inning and scored one run on a double-player grounder to short by Cole Messina.
Chris Veach was brought in to pitch the ninth with a 7-4 lead. With two outs and a runner on second, Veach threw wild to first after fielding a swinging bunt, and that allowed the runner to score. But he got a strike out to end the game and earn his fourth save of the season. Becker picked up the win to improve to 4-0.
The Gamecocks had 10 hits in the game, four by leadoff batter Dylan Brewer, who also scored 3 runs. Ethan Petry had a two-run double giving him 64 RBIs on the season, breaking the school record for RBIs in a season by a freshman.
The Gamecocks also drew 9 walks, giving them a total of 24 walks for the series. They also hit .364 with two outs and .333 with runners in scoring position. For the series, the Gamecocks were 13-34 hitting with two outs.
This will be exam week for USC, so there is no mid-week game. They will host Auburn for a weekend series beginning Friday night.