Gators take SEC lead, edge Gamecocks 3-2

By Adam Silverstein
May 21, 2010

Opening a three-game series that will ultimately decide the 2010 Southeastern Conference regular season champion, the No. 4/5 Florida Gators (39-12, 21-7 SEC) delivered the first blow by squeaking out a 3-2 win over the No. 6/7 South Carolina Gamecocks (42-12, 20-8 SEC) Thursday night on the road at Carolina Stadium.

Junior closer Kevin Chapman helped the Gators maintain a 3-2 lead, tossing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts without giving up a single hit for his ninth save of the season. Sophomore starter Alex Panteliodis was pulled after giving up a run in 3.1 innings, only to have Jeff Barfield go on to give up another in his 2.2 innings of relief. Barfield (4-0) would end up the winning pitcher with the Gamecocks’ Blake Cooper (10-1) earning his first loss of the season after allowing three runs in 6.2 innings.

At a scoreless tie heading into the top of the third inning, the Gators opened up the game when sophomore outfielder Tyler Thompson (1-3) hit a lead-off home run to right field. With two outs in the inning, a rally was put together that would eventually score sophomore OF Daniel Pigott (3-5), who got on base with a double.

Florida added to their lead in the fourth. Senior OF Matt den Dekker (1-4) singled to start off the inning and would eventually score on a ground out RBI by junior second baseman Josh Adams (0-4). UF would hold on from there, though they did allow South Carolina to add a run in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings.

The action continues Friday evening at 7 p.m. as Gators freshman Hudson Randall (6-3, 2.96 ERA) goes up against Gamecocks junior Sam Dyson (5-4, 3.79 ERA). Should Florida win, they would clinch their first SEC title since 2005.

One Comment

  1. UF_84 says:

    Another SEC title with a win tonight. Go Gators!!!

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