Gators defeat South Carolina 7-3

Sophomore Adam Davis ripped a pair of doubles while Jeff Corsaletti robbed Michael Campbell of a certain home run to lead sixth ranked Florida to a 7-3 win over sixth ranked South Carolina in SEC baseball action Saturday.

Despite 3:31 rain delay, 1,238 fans braved the wet conditions to watch Florida (18-7, 2-3) climb back within a game of the SEC Eastern Division lead. The Gamecocks (19-4, 2-3) are also one game back of Tennessee (18-6, 3-2) and Vanderbilt (17-5, 3-2).

Davis went three for five with three RBI's to lead the Gators offensively. Coach Pat McMahon moved Davis to the three hole tonight in hopes that he might have the opportunity to drive in some players and it definitely paid off.

The Ft. Myers native is Florida's hottest hitter of late, hitting .283. Just a week ago, Davis was hitting a paltry .247. In the past three games, the second baseman is hitting .538 (7 of 13) with 10 RBI's. His slugging percentage skyrocketed from .376 to .453, as Davis has ripped three doubles and a home run in those contests.

He has also played a key role in Florida's double play production with his lighting quick pivot and pitch to first base. The Gators were second in the conference in double plays heading into the weekend.

The best defensive play of the game was turned in by senior Jeff Corsaletti. Leading 4-1 in the top of the sixth, Carolina designated hitter Jon Willard led off the inning with a sharp single to left. Two pitches later, outfielder Michael Campbell blasted a shot over the head of Corsaletti, and seemingly over the wall. However, the 6'0 190 center fielder timed his jump perfectly, leapt high into the air, and snatched the ball back into the playing field at The Mac robbing the Gamecocks of a two-run home run. Campbell trotted around first base in a state of disbelief. He stared at Corso the entire trip back to the bench.

Florida starter Tommy Boss (4-1) picked up the win for the Gators. Boss threw 5.1 innings giving up eight hits, but just one earned run. He walked none and struck out two Gamecock hitters.

It was another superb performance from the Florida bullpen. Connor Falkenbach came on in relief of Boss. He pitched 1.2 innings with one unearned run. Stephen Porter again got the job done against the left handed hitting Campbell. With one on and nobody out in the top of the eighth, Porter got Campbell to ground into out to Justin Tordi at short. Closer Darren O'Day picked up the save as he pitched the final 1.2 innings. O'Day gave up one hit and no runs, while striking out two.

South Carolina starter Zac McCamie (5-1) was saddled with the loss. It was the first loss in his South Carolina career (12-1) since transferring from Seminole Community College. McCamie struck out a season high nine hitters.

South Carolina scored in the top of the third inning after consecutive singles by Chris Brown and Steven Pearce. Brown later scored on Jon Willard's fly to deep center.

The Gators answered in their turn in the third. Left fielder Gavin Dickey, fresh from the football scrimmage, doubled to right center and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Tommy King.

Florida scored three more in the following inning with two outs. Justin Tordi singled with one out. Two batters later, third baseman Brandon McArthur singled to right center. Corsaletti then walked to load the bases. McCamie then walked Stephen Barton to score Tordi. Davis followed with a two-run double to right and the Gators led 4-1.

Carolina answered with a pair of runs in the sixth. After Corsaletti robbed Campbell of a home run, Florida committed back-to-back errors. Willard advanced to third on a throwing error by LaPorta, who was trying to move the double play along. One batter later Brendan Winn reached safely on an error by third baseman Brandon McArthur. Willard scored on an unearned run. The Gamecocks scored yet again on a sacrifice fly.

The Gators scored three more in the bottom of eighth to cushion what was a 4-3 game.

Florida first baseman Matt LaPorta was removed from the game in the sixth inning because of illness. Coach McMahon said that LaPorta had been ill before the start and went as far as he could go. He was replaced by junior Andy Davis of Ft. Myers.

The Gators and Gamecocks will play again tomorrow at 1pm at The Mac.

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