The Florida Gator baseball team stays alive in the SEC Tournament after beating South Carolina 7-2 on Thursday; the Gators will now face Mississippi State tonight.
Florida found themselves in a come from behind situation for the second straight day after the Gamecocks scored a run in the second inning with a pair of doubles and another run in the third on a home run.
However, the Orange and Blue quickly bounced back in the third to take the lead with a three run third inning, and a flawless bullpen that would allow no more runs. Freshman starter A.J. Puk was good for four innings and allowed two runs, and Bobby Poyner came out strong with five shutout innings.
Florida’s Casey Turgeon started the two-out comeback in the third with a single to second base. With an error and hit batter to load the bases, Taylor Gushue drove a single up the middle to put two runs on the board. Braden Mattson continued things with a bunt single that drove in Harrison Bader as Florida took a 3-2 lead.
In the fourth, after back to back walks Turgeon ripped a single to right field that allowed Justin Shafer to score. Richie Martin followed with a single to left field that would bring in Josh Tobias to extend the Gators lead to 5-2.
The Gators scored their last two runs with a solo homer by Tobias in the sixth and a RBI single from Gushue to drive in Shafer in the eighth.
The Gators will now face Mississippi State with a start time of approximately 7:30 p.m. eastern time.
Gator Assistant Coach Brad Weitzel says the Gator players know they would like to get some momentum heading into NCAA Regionals.
“We’ll put the pressure on them again. We put pressure on them last night that we have to play better and we have to play well in this tournament. We have to have momentum going into regionals. We are going to give them the same speech again. It is redundant over and over, but they’re 19 or 20 years old, so they have to hear it over and over and we will keep doing it over and over, “says Weitzel.
To hear audio from coach Weitzel click below: