Second ranked USC had a great chance to take down top ranked Florida Friday night, but they couldn’t close the deal in a 5-4 loss to the Gators Friday night at Founders Park.
USC had a 4-3 lead in the 9th when they handed the ball to Josh Reagan, a guy who has been as close to untouchable as any closer in baseball. He ended up giving up a pair of solo homers to a pair of Gators who had hit only a pair of home runs between them all season. It was Reagan’s first blown save of the year.
Baseball is a game of second guessing and Holbrook will probably took a few extra tosses on the pillow Friday night. First, the Gamecocks stranded runner on third base with less than two outs twice; second, Tyler Johnson was rolling in the 7th and 8th inning when Holbrook lifted him in favor of Reagan. The big issue with the stranded runners was John Jones struggling to deliver in the 3-hole. He had two at-bats with a much needed run 90 feet away and struck out both time.
USC was also hurt by a two out error by LT Tolbert in the 6th. The next hitter smacked a two-run homer to cut into the Gamecocks 3-0 lead. USC added another run in the bottom of the 6th to make it 4-2. Florida scored a run in the 7th when Schmidt was lifted with one out and two runners on base. Tyler Johnson came on and pitched out of the jam. He pitched a perfect 8th before he was lifted in favor of Reagan.
USC is 33-9 and 14-5 in the SEC. They are now tied with the Gators (37-6, 14-5) for first place in the SEC East.