April 8, 2007
Gainesville, Fla. - Trent Kline hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and behind a career-high 6.2 innings from reliever Jeff Jeffords, the South Carolina Gamecocks (26-7, 7-5 SEC) rallied to defeat Florida (20-15, 8-4 SEC) 8-6 on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series. The see-saw affair saw the Gamecocks come back from a three-run deficit in the ninth inning on a homer by Travis Jones and also each teams trading runs in the 10th inning before the Gamecocks scored two to edge the Gators out in the 11th inning.
In his longest outing as a Gamecock, Jeffords limited the Gators to just three hits and one run, unearned, while striking out four batters and walking two. He is 3-0 on the year. Florida reliever Steven Porter suffered the loss and is 0-2 this season.
Florida held a 5-2 lead entering the ninth inning until the Gamecocks staged a comeback on the heels of the three-run homer from Jones. On a 2-2 pitch from Gator reliever Josh Edmondson, Jones launched the game-tying homer over the center field wall and past the 400 foot mark to knot the game at five apiece. Jones had an incredible series vs. the Gators batting 9-for-12 on the weekend with five home runs and 11 RBI.
With the game tied 5-5 in the 10th inning, South Carolina briefly went ahead 6-5 on the heels of Jones' fourth hit, a single, and his fifth RBI of the game. The Gators bounced back in the bottom half to tie the game with two outs. With Jon Townsend on first base, Florida first baseman Matt LaPorta hit a tough two-hopper down the third base line that was fielded cleanly by James Darnell but thrown wide of first base to allow Townsned to score. With the bases loaded, Jeffords got out of a tight jam by getting Cody Neer to fly out to right field and preserve the tie.
The momentum from Jeffords work carried into the 11th inning as Harley Lail drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. On a 0-2 pitch from Porter, Gamecock catcher Trent Kline knocked his fifth homer of the year just over the left field wall to put the Gamecocks on top by two runs. Jeffords pitched a scoreless 11th inning to preserve the Gamecock victory.
South Carolina finished with an 18-10 advantage in hits including a 4-for-5 performance from Jones. He had a pair of homers and five RBI in the game. Lail, Darnell, Kline, Justin Smoak, Phil Disher and Andrew Crisp all had two hits as well for the Gamecocks. Jon Townsend and Avery Barnes tallied two apiece to lead the Gators.
South Carolina went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning on a solo home run from James Darnell, his ninth of the season. Florida answered in the bottom of the first inning though with two runs off of Gamecock starter Blake Cooper. Barnes hit a one-out single, LaPorta walked and both advanced a base on a wild pitch. Barnes would score on a RBI groundout by Cole Figueroa that was followed by an RBI single from Brian Leclerc.
Figueroa gave the Gators a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning with a two-out double to left center to score Matt den Dekker off of Gamecock reliever Alex Farotto. The run was charged to Cooper, who left the game following an intentional walk to LaPorta. South Carolina got back to within one run in the fifth inning on Jones first homer of the game.
The Gators came back with two runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning as they drew four walks against Farotto and also scored on a fielder's choice. With the bases loaded and LaPorta up to bat with one out, Jeffords was summoned to enter the game and got LaPorta to ground into a 1-2-3 double play on the first pitch to keep the Gamecocks within three runs.
South Carolina returns to action on Wednesday night with a non-conference tilt at Clemson. First pitch is 7:15 pm with the game to be televised on CSS-TV and broadcast live on the Gamecock Radio Network.
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