A day after coming up short to the Gamecocks, the Gator baseball team evens the series with a come from behind 4-3 win Saturday night in 13 innings.
After a strong start for both pitchers, the Gamecocks jumped on the board in the fifth with a two-out RBI double by Joey Pankake, which was promptly followed by a Marcus Mooney RBI single.
South Carolina threatened to build on their 2-0 lead as they loaded the bases in the sixth, but only managed to add a single run with a one-out RBI single by Elliott Caldwell.
Florida stayed persistent and broke up the shutout in the eighth when pinch hitter A.J. Puk came through with an RBI double that brought home Buddy Reed to make it 3-1. An RBI single from Richie Martin brought the Gators within one run before South Carolina’s Joel Seddon managed to end the inning.
The Gamecocks tried to respond in the bottom of the inning by loading the bases once again, but stranded all runners with stellar pitching by the Gator bullpen.
This proved to be crucial as the Gators were able to add another run in the top of the ninth on an RBI sacrifice fly from Casey Turgeon to tie up the contest 3-3.
Florida broke through with a run in the 13th inning on a sacrifice fly by Justin Shafer and Puk shut down the Gamecocks in the bottom of the inning and Florida evened up the series 1-1. Both teams are now 8-6 in SEC play as well, tied for first in the SEC East.
“There were so many different things that happened throughout the game,” Gators head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.
“I think we played 19 different players and pitchers. There was a lot of movement. We hung in there when we were down. We had not swung the bat well through seven, but to score two in the eighth, one in the ninth and to finish it off in the thirteenth was huge,” O’Sullivan said.
The deciding series finale and overall lead of the SEC East is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Stadium on Sunday.
Catch our live coverage on Country 103-7 The Gator starting at 1:25.
For audio from the game, click the links below:
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan