Sunday, May 1, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Drops Game 2 Against #5 South Carolina

The No.1 Florida Gators (37-7, 14-6 in SEC play) lost a close one tonight as the South Carolina Gamecocks (34-9, 15-5 in SEC play) edged out the Orange and Blue by a narrow margin of 2-1.

A.J. Puk (2-2, 3.07 ERA) earned his second straight no-decision as he tossed six innings of one-run ball. Throwing 101 pitches, Puk allowed four hits, walked three, hit a batter, and for the second consecutive game struck out 10!

Upon Puk's exit, lefty Kirby Snead came in with the game tied at one a piece. Undoubtedly the Gators' best reliever all year, Snead finally came back down to earth as he gave up what would prove to be the game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The late-game long ball would also hand him his first loss of the season.

Despite taking the loss tonight, Snead still threw very well as he struck out three of the five batters he faced in 1.1 innings of relief. After Snead's departure, Brady Singer was called upon to get the final two outs of the eighth inning. The freshman did his job, as he induced a groundout and recorded a strikeout to end the frame.

As was the case last week against Georgia, the Gator offense did not give AJ Puk any run support. Scoring just one run for the giant lefty yet again, Florida's lineup managed just six hits while striking out ten times.

Buddy Reed was the only offensive bright spot for Florida as he went 1-4 with his fourth home run of the year and a stolen base. The only other Gator who swung it well was Deacon Liput, who went 2-4 with a pair of singles and a stolen base out of the two-hole.

The Gators had chances in both the eighth and the ninth innings as the tying run reached third base. Unfortunately, both of those opportunities would be squandered as JJ Schwarz struck out to end the eighth and Ryan Larson struck out to end the game.

Final Takeaway:
The No. 2 Florida Gators now trail the No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks by one game in the SEC East standings after tonight's loss. Before previewing the rubber match, here are my final tidbit's on another classic game between these two conference rivals:

  • With their win tonight, South Carolina finally ended their seven-game losing streak against Florida.
  • Buddy Reed's ninth inning swipe of second base gives him a team-leading 20 steals for the season, while Deacon Liput has a second-best 10 after swiping second base in the third inning. 
  • The Florida pitching staff struck out 14 and walked three while South Carolina's duo of pitchers struck out 10 and also walked three.
  • The only South Carolina player with multiple hits was leadoff man Gene Cone. He went 2-3 with a double, the go-ahead home run in the seventh, and a walk.

With a split between the first two games, Florida will look to leave Columbia with a series victory and a tie atop of the SEC East standings. Sophomore righty Alex Faedo (8-1, 3.32 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Gators as he goes for his third consecutive win. His counterpart from South Carolina will be freshman righty Adam Hill (6-0, 2.57 ERA).

Game time for the rubber match is 1:30 p.m. It can be seen on the SEC Network and heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network.

*All stats accredited to

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.