The struggles continue for the Florida Gator (23-14; 5-9 SEC) pitching staff in SEC play as freshman starter Christian Scott (3-2) yielded four home runs as the South Carolina Gamecocks took Game 2 of the series 6-3 at McKethan Stadium on Friday.
The visitors were able to manufacture their first run in the second inning against Scott. After, they would tack on five more runs in the next two frames via the long ball.
Scott suffers second straight rough start against SEC
Consistency has been the main issue for Florida’s pitching staff this season. Now with sophomore Jack Leftwich struggling with a blister problem, Kevin O’Sullivan will need another of his young pitchers to step up.
Game 2 was an opportunity for Scott to right the ship. The freshman was tagged for six earned runs in the second game of last weekend’s series loss to Ole Miss; the same thing happened once again this Friday.
Scott was taken deep twice in the third inning and another two times in the fourth inning. First, junior shortstop George Callil double South Carolina’s lead with a solo shot to left field. Then, catcher Luke Berryhill made it 4-0 with a two-run shot that just barely got over the left field wall.
Florida’ starter dug his team into an even deeper hole the following frame. This time, third baseman Quinntin Perez and first baseman Chris Cullen led the inning off with back-to-back solo home runs. That made the score 6-0.
Scott collected five strikeouts in this start. He actually appeared sharp early, but he simply left a few fastballs far too close to the center of the plate. Scott was able to at least able to provide six innings of work for O’Sullivan after his bullpen labored heavily in Mississippi.
Offense can’t come from behind against Gamecocks
For a while, it appeared like Florida was going to struggle to even scrape a single run off Gamecock’s starter Cam Tringali (2-0). The freshman kept hitters off balance all night as he only surrendered four hits in six innings. He was charged with his lone earned run of the game after he had departed with a runner on first.
However, Florida’s bats did a solid job of showing fight. Florida scored its first run in the seventh inning and mustered another two in the eighth inning to at least force coach Mark Kingston to call upon his closer Brett Kerry to shut the door.
The freshman did that in the game’s final frame — albeit not without a scare. Kerry would surrender two hits to Austin Langworthy and Kirby McMullen before striking out Kendrick Calilao to end the game.
Florida will try to take the series finale today at 3:30 pm at McKethan Stadium.