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April 25, 2009

Box Score

Gainesville, Fla. – Florida broke a 3-3 tie with five runs combined in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings in an 8-3 victory over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium in game two of a three-game SEC baseball series. Florida wins the series and is now 30-14 and 12-8 in the SEC while Carolina drops to 27-17 and 9-11 in conference play. The Gamecocks and the Gators meet in the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is 1 p.m. with the game available on and on the Gamecock Radio Network.

With the score deadlocked at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Florida broke ahead with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and second base, Teddy Foster knocked a high chopper to second base. On the play Casey Rihn threw to shortstop Bobby Haney, who got the force out but was unable to turn the double play as his throw went past first baseman Nick Ebert allowing Brandon McArthur to score from second base. Up 4-3, the Gators gained some breathing room with three more runs in the seventh inning. With one out and the bases loaded Matt den Dekker drove in a run with a fielder’s choice that was followed by a two-out two-run single from McArthur giving Florida a four-run lead. They would cap their lead at five in the bottom of the eighth as Tucker drove in a run with a RBI ground out.

Florida reliever Tony Davis earned the win out of the bullpen with two innings of scoreless relief. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. Billy Bullock picked up a save as well for the Gators as he hurled 1.2 scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed. It is his seventh save of the year. Carolina starting pitcher Nolan Belcher suffered the loss and is now 2-3 for the season. He allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts and four walks in 5.1 innings.

South Carolina had early 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Whit Merrifield and DeAngelo Mack each singled up the middle with Merrifield scoring on Nick Ebert’s sacrifice fly to right field. The Gators answered in the bottom of the half with a pair of runs though to go ahead 2-1. Avery Barnes hit a leadoff home run for Florida. The Gators second run would be unearned as Jonathan Pigott reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Andrew Crisp with Pigott scoring on Preston Tucker’s RBI double.

Florida showed off the long ball again in the second inning with the second home run of the game, a solo shot by Teddy Foster. The Gators designated hitter launched a 3-1 pitch to left field for his fourth home run of the season.

It remained that way until the top of the sixth inning when Carolina got to Florida starter Anthony DeSclafani with two more runs to tie the game at 3-3. Bobby Haney had a leadoff base hit and advanced to third on a one-out double to right center by DeAngelo Mack. Both would then score as Nick Ebert laced a RBI single to left field to tie the game. That ended the day for DeSclafani. He went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Florida had an 11-8 advantage in hits for the afternoon. Barnes was 3-for-4 with two runs scored with Tucker 3-for-5 with two RBI. McArthur was also 2-for-4 with two RBI. DeAngelo Mack was 3-for-4 with a run scored and Whit Merrifield was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Ebert drove in all three runs for Carolina. Merrifield’s two hits extended his hitting streak to nine games.