All is right in in Florida baseball right now. The top-ranked Gators (21-2, 4-1) bounced back from their series opening defeat, besting the sixth ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (17-6, 1-4) 8-2. Florida used four home runs and a five run opening inning to set the pace for the game. Brian Johnson (4-0) picked up the win, pitching six strong innings, scattering six hits and two runs while striking out four. Johnson also contributed with his bat, going 2-for-5 with a homer and 2 RBI. Forrest Koumas (1-2) picked up the loss for the Gamecocks, pitching only one plus innings, allowing six runs on four hits, walking five and striking out three. South Carolina's collaboration of four pitchers allowed ten walks in the game, almost as much as the Gators 11 hit performance.
Florida certainly started out the scoring in the first, really teeing off on Koumas. The Gators batted around the order and send ten men to the plate as the had five runs on four hits. Mike Zunino started off the scoring with a three-run shot scoring three for his team-leading eighth big fly of the year. Johnson immediately following Zunino with a solo homer for back-to-back home runs for Florida. The Gators added one more run to take a 5-0 lead before the Gamecocks even batted on a Koumas balk that scored Taylor Gushue. UF added one more in the second inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Johnson once again came through for himself with a two-out RBI single.
South Carolina got on the board in the fourth with Christian Walker's third home run of the year to cut into the score, 6-1.
Florida got the run back in the sixth when Vickash Ramjit got in on the action, hitting the first of two solo homers in the game and giving the Gators a 7-1 lead. Ramjit, known more for his defensive prowess than his offense, had his first multiple home run game in his career.
The Gamecocks added one in the bottom of the frame when Brison Celek delivered a two-out RBI double to put the game at 7-2. But Ramjit added his second shot of the game in the top of the eighth to put the score at it's final of 8-2.
Today's winner-take-all series finale will feature the Gators Jonathon Crawford (4-3, 4.43 ERA) facing the Gamecocks Colby Holmes (3-0, 1.88 ERA). The game starts at 1 p.m., which gives you plenty of time to catch the baseball game before the Florida faces off against the Louisville Cardinals in the Elite Eight at 4:30 p.m. The baseball game can be seen on CSS.