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South Carolina Wins Super Regional Rematch

By: Sinderella

South Carolina came into this series winning two games against Top-15 teams in Texas A&M and North Carolina. Florida came in after getting swept at Missouri and suffering a crushing loss to in-state rival Florida State. Both teams needed to win this series for different reasons, and it was South Carolina that came out on top. South Carolina's offense, which has struggled at times this year, seems to be finding its groove at just the right time. Over the weekend, they scored 28 runs with Cole Messina at leadoff, Ethan Petry doing his usual thing, and the bottom of the lineup in Dalton Reeves, Talmadge LeCroy, and Will Tippett doing the heavy lifting.

Eli Jones went out on Friday and put together another great outing has he has done every week, besides last weekend. Coming into the season, the national pundits were wondering if South Carolina has a Friday night starter. Well, I can answer with confidence that Eli Jones is a SEC Friday night guy.

South Carolina won Game One with ease, 10-3, thanks to a 5-run 9th inning. Finally, the Gamecocks are the ones to open the game up in the last few innings to secure the win. Game Two was a wild one. It looked like South Carolina was going to get another easy win, as they were up 9-3 going into the bottom of the 7th. Florida decided to start hitting, and they combined in the 7th and 8th innings to score 5 runs to bring the game to 9-8 in South Carolina's favor. The Gamecocks decided to go with Tyler Pitzer to close out the game, and this is significant, because not only is he a true freshman, but he was one of the starting pitchers for South Carolina over the past few weeks. Pitzer came out for his 1st inning of SEC relief and shut down Florida's lineup to secure the 9-8 victory for South Carolina. Pitzer being able to quiet the bats of an explosive Gator offense to secure a road SEC series win was massive for both his confidence personally and the Gamecocks as a squad.

With that 2nd win, South Carolina captures the series win over Florida and can go into Sunday playing loose. Well, the bats were still hot, but so were the bats for Florida. The Gators used two big 5-run innings in the 2nd and 6th to take a 11-5 lead going into the 8th. South Carolina tried to mount a comeback but fell short after scoring 4 runs in the 8th and 9th innings combined to lose Game 3, 11-9.

The Gamecocks currently stand at 25-11 (8-7). Looking forward, South Carolina has a midweek as they travel to The Citadel. They should take care of business there, as Tyler Pitzer is getting the ball in a bullpen game, although this does tend to be a game The Citadel gets up for. South Carolina then hosts #2 Arkansas and by far the best pitching staff in the country. Arkansas' offense doesn't really scare me, but that pitching staff is terrifying. The good thing is that the series is at Founder's, and, as we know, anything can happen at Founder's.

(All pictures courtesy of @GamecockBasebll)

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