June 16, 2012
Game 4 Notes
Gamecocks down Gators to extend
By Phil Stanton
Photos by Craig Jackson, LeftfieldLounge.com,
Neb. – 12 and 22.
No. 8 South Carolina used a five-run fifth to
rally past top-seeded Florida on the second day of 2012 College
World Series in front of 25,291 fans at TD Ameritrade Park. The
Gamecocks won their 12th straight CWS contest and 22nd
consecutive NCAA Tournament game, both Division I records.
South Carolina (46-17) will face Arkansas on
Monday at 8 p.m. CT. The Gators (47-19) will play Kent State at
4 p.m. CT Monday in an elimination game.
“Anytime you play a team like the Gators, every
pitch is a big deal,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “It was pretty much like that tonight.”
Florida started the scoring in the bottom of the
third. Justin Shafer and Vickash Ramjit had consecutive singles
to start the frame. Josh Tobias popped up a sac bunt attempt and
pitcher Michael Roth (above) made a diving catch for the first out.
Nolan Fontana reached on a fielder’s choice, erasing Ramjit at
second. Preston Tucker lined a double to left to drive in both
runners, giving the Gators a 2-0 lead.
The Gamecocks had base runners in each of the
first four innings, but could not score against Brian Johnson
(8-5, 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 K). South Carolina stranded
seven over those four frames, including leaving the bases loaded
in the first.
All that changed in the top of the fifth. Evan
Marzilli led off with a double and slid over to third on a
single by Christian Walker. Adam Matthews walked to load the
bases. Erik Payne lined a triple to the gap in right center to
put South Carolina on top 3-2.
“I was trying to keep my hands still, trying to
stay balanced and work the whole field,” Payne said. “I got a
fastball that I could drive and I slid a gap. I was fortunate
enough that it fell.”
Payne came in on a double by L.B. Dantzler,
ending the night for Brian Johnson. Dantzler scored on a single
by Chase Vergason to push the lead to 5-2.
The Gators got one back in the bottom of the
frame as Josh Tobias had a leadoff single and came in on a
sacrifice fly by Mike Zunino to cut the deficit to 5-3.
South Carolina added a pair of insurance runs in
the top of the ninth. Walker had a leadoff walk and came in on a
wild pitch. Dantzler reached on an error and scored on an error
as the Gamecocks extended the advantage to 7-3.
Florida put a pair on in the bottom of the ninth,
but could not dent home in falling to South Carolina.
“I thought we played really well through the
first four,” said Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, “but to
be quite honest with you, I thought South Carolina beat us in
every phase of the game today. They outpitched us, they
obviously outhit us, and they played better defense. It was just
a really well-played game by South Carolina, obviously not one
of our best.”
Roth (8-1) gutted out the win, allowing seven
hits and three runs in 6.1 innings with three walks and three
“Obviously I'd like to be a little bit better, of
course,” Roth said. “But you just have to go out there and grind
it out. Florida's a great hitting team. You just try to keep
them off balance.”
Tyler Webb got the final two outs of the seventh,
forcing the Gators to leave the bases loaded. Matt Price tossed
two scoreless innings with two hits and three strikeouts for his
12th save. Price set a SEC record with career save No. 42.