(Gainesville, Fl. ) -- Eighth ranked South Carolina opened up a 3-1 lead on Florida but the Gators rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning highlighted by a two-out two-run single by Harrison Bader as the Gamecocks fell 4-3 to Florida on Friday evening in game two of a three-game SEC baseball series at McKethan Stadum. The Gamecocks are 27-9 and 8-6 in the SEC with Florida 18-18 and 7-7 in league play. The series concludes on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with the game televised live on ESPN2 and also available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
Tied at 1-1, the Gamecocks broke ahead 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Connor Bright and extended that lead to a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on a RBI single from Grayson Greiner. The Gators mounted a comeback in the bottom of the eighth as Casey Turgeon led off with a single, Justin Shafer singled with one out and Vickash Ramjit drew a one-out walk to load the bases. On a 1-0 count, Josh Tobias hit a comebacker back to Gamecock reliever Adam Westmoreland. The senior left-hander's only play was to first base and Turgeon scored cutting the lead to one run. With two outs and a 1-1 count, Bader drove a single into left field that scored both Shafer and Ramjit giving Florida the 4-3 advantage. Carolina looked to respond in the top of the ninth as Tanner English drew a leadoff walk. He would be sacrificed over into scoring position. With two outs, LB Dantzler walked intentionally and UF reliever Johnny Magliozzi threw wild on his first pitch to Brison Celek moving both runners to second and third. Magliozzi however fought back and would end the game with a strikeout of Celek.
Florida reliever Aaron Rhodes earned the win and is 1-0 on the year. He allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 innings with a walk. Magliozzi picked up his second consecutive save of the series and eighth of the season with a scoreless inning of work. Westmoreland suffered the loss and is 4-1 on the year. He allowed three runs on four hits in five relief innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
South Carolina had more hits than Florida for the second straight day in defeat with 10 hits while the Gators finished with eight. Bright tied a career-high with three hits and Saiko was 2-for-4 as well. Turgeon and Bader had two hits apiece to lead the Gators.
Florida went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning taking advantage of a failed pickoff by Gamecock starter Jordan Montgomery. Richie Martin got things started with a walk and advanced to third base on Casey Turgeon's single. With one out and runners on the corners, Montgomery tried to keep Turgeon in check but threw wide of LB Dantzler at first base for an error allowing Martin to score and Turgeon to make his way to third. Montgomery limited the damage though as he fanned Shafter with a strikeout and recorded the final out of the inning on a pop fly off the bat of Vickash Ramjit.
South Carolina tied it at 1-1 in the top of the third inning. Graham Saiko singled to open the frame with Chase Vergason following with a double to right field. With one out and the bases loaded, Saiko scored on Max Schrock's RBI groundout out to the first baseman. Connor Bright's solo home run in the top of the fourth inning gave Carolina a 2-1 lead. Bright jumped on the first pitch he saw from Young for a homer to left-center, just clearing the wall. It marked Bright's third home run of the season.
Montgomery went three innings and allowed one run, unearned, on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts for the Gamecocks on the mound. Florida starter Danny Young allowed two runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings with a walk and a strikeout.