May 21, 2010
|Senior Day Presentation|
|Coach Horn Sings the Seventh Inning Stretch|
|Jackie Bradley Jr.|
Columbia, S.C. – Josh Adams broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out two-run double in the top of the seventh inning and added a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning as Florida defeated South Carolina 5-2 on Friday night at Carolina Stadium to clinch the three-game series and the SEC championship. Florida is now 40-12 and 22-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 42-13 and 20-9 in the SEC. The final game of the series is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday and will be televised live on FSN and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com. Friday’s game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans, the largest crowd in Carolina Stadium history.
With the score deadlocked at 2-2, the Gators made their move in the top of the seventh as Brian Johnson led off with a single. With pinch runner Bryson Smith into the game, Florida’s Daniel Pigott set a down a sacrifice bunt. On the play, South Carolina starting pitcher Sam Dyson threw to second base but Smith beat the throw to the bag giving the Gators a pair of runners. After a sacrifice bunt by Ben McMahan, Dyson battled for Carolina as he struck out Tyler Thompson to get the second out of the inning. With runners still in scoring position and two outs, Adams connected on a 1-1 pitch with a double to the gap in right center scoring both runners and giving the Gators a two-run cushion. That lead was extended to 5-2 in the ninth inning as Adams again delivered with two outs with a RBI single to right field scoring McMahan, who reached base earlier on a Gamecock error.
Florida reliever Steven Rodriguez earned the win after 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts. Gator reliever Kevin Chapman came on in the eighth inning and worked the final 1.2 innings and did not allow a hit or run and struck out one batter to pick up his 10th save of the season and second of the series. Dyson suffered the loss after 6.2 innings. He is now 5-5 on the year. He allowed four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Florida won despite the Gamecocks finishing with an 11-8 advantage in hits. Adam Matthews tied a season-high in hits with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and two runs scored as well as a home run. Brady Thomas also tied a career-high with a 3-for-3 day at the plate and Jackie Bradley Jr. was 3-for-5.
Matthews put the Gamecocks ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with a towering homer to left field. Matthews crushed his sixth home run of the season three-quarters of the way up the bleachers in left field. Florida tied at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Matt den Dekker led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Austin Maddox’s one-out RBI sacrifice fly to center field.
South Carolina answered Florida in the bottom fourth with a single run to reclaim the lead at 2-1. Matthews reached base for the second time with a single that was followed by a single by Brady Thomas that advanced Matthews to third. The third straight hit of the inning would come from Bobby Haney, who knocked a RBI base hit to left field scoring Matthews. Florida would tie it up again in the top of the sixth inning as Josh Adams led off with a double and scored as Preston Tucker laced a two-out RBI triple down the right field line tying the game at 2-2.
South Carolina has clinched the No. 3 seed for next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. They will face the to be determined No. 6 seed in the second game of the tournament on Wednesday, May 26. That game is scheduled to begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET.