Wyatt Langford leads Florida's explosive offense in the series opener against South Carolina on May, 19 2022. (Photo by Jordan McKendrick, courtesy of floridagators.com)

Florida Slams South Carolina 14-5 in Series Opener

The Florida Gators began their final series of the regular 2022 season against South Carolina with a 14-5 victory. The Gators look to extend an 11-game winning streak in their remaining two games against the Gamecocks this weekend at Condron Family Ballpark.

When There’s a Wyatt, There’s a Way

Florida’s offensive fireworks against the Gamecocks were led by Wyatt Langford who went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo big flies. Langford now leads the SEC with 21 homers on the season. Langford is certainly in the talk for SEC player of the year.

Thursday night’s game was Langford’s second consecutive game with two home runs. In addition, Langford managed to get Florida on the board during the first pitch of the bottom of the first for the second-straight game. 

Langford is now the sixth-ever Gator to hit 20 home runs in a single season.

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Additionally, his ​​21 homers are tied for fifth all-time in a single season at Florida. After Jud Fabian’s 20-homer season in 2021, Fabian and Langford became the first-ever Gator duo to hit 20 homers in back-to-back seasons.

Game One Review

Brandon Sproat started on the mound for the Gators. After Sproat held the Gamecocks scoreless for two innings, South Carolina managed to take the lead at the top of the third. The Gamecocks loaded the bases on two hit-by-pitches and a walk. Andrew Eyster brought in two runs for the Gamecocks with an RBI double to left field. Florida answered, tying the game 2-2 with back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the third from Sterlin Thompson and Jud Fabian.

Florida regained the lead at the bottom of the fourth with a homer by Ty Evans.

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After a Kris Armstrong walk, Colby Halter single, and Langford hit-by-pitch, Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to LF allowing Armstrong to score. That pushed the Gators lead to 4-2.

South Carolina managed to tie it up again at the top of the fifth, scoring a run on Joshua Rivera‘s shortstop error and doubling on another. Then, Florida’s offense came in hot, beginning the fifth with a pair of singles.

The Gators gained two more runs on sacrifice flies before adding on seven insurance runs to coast to a 14-5  victory. Florida had an impressive performance offensively, with 16 hits leading to 14 runs.

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Mick Hubert’s Legacy

Mick Hubert announced his retirement prior to Thursday night’s game. Hubert is known as the “voice of the Gators” after voicing over 2,500 UF games for over 33 years. His famous “Oh My!”, consistent enthusiasm for the Gators, and remarkable talent are irreplaceable.

The UF-South Carolina baseball series this weekend marks the last time Gator nation will hear the voice of the Orange & Blue. Mick may be turning off the mic, but his legacy at UF will live on in the hearts of Gator nation.

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Florida on Fire

Florida has been making an impressive turnaround, winning 11 of their last 13 games. The Gators previously picked up a series win over Florida State. Thompson led the Gators with a walk-off home run to give Florida a 7-5 victory. Thompson’s bottom-of-the-ninth bomb broke a 5-5 tie that had lasted from the top of the fourth. Wyatt Langford sparked Florida’s offense against the Noles with two dingers to center field, marking three homers since he moved to the leadoff spot just 12 games before. 

After dominating the Gamecocks, Florida gained its seventh win with six or more runs in their 11-2 stretch. After hitting four homers on Thursday night, the Gators have totaled 100 on the season. The team’s 100 homers are tied for the most under Kevin O’Sullivan and are tied for the third-most in program history. 

The Gators are currently tied for second place in the SEC East and sixth in the SEC and would be the No.8 seed in the SEC. Florida is 34-19 overall and 14-14 for SEC play. The program looks to make it over .500 with two remaining games against the Gamecocks. Friday’s game is slated for 7 p.m. while Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m.

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a second-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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