It took Matt Price one day to get revenge.
A day after South Carolina’s All-American closer surrendered the winning run, the Gamecocks righty shut the door for the final 21/3 innings in the No. 4 Gamecocks’ 4-3 win over No. 1 Florida on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
“I knew I had to get the job done today,” Price said. “It’s a big series. We’re hungry and we’re going to just keep going.”
A trio of Gamecocks relievers tossed seven scoreless innings to give USC the series victory. The Gators (21-3, 4-2 SEC) lost their first series of the season and dropped a home SEC series for the first time since April 2009 against Mississippi.
“We can play ball just as well they can,” center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “We showed that this weekend.”
USC (18-5, 4-2) overcame an early 3-0 deficit by tying the game in sixth with three runs on two walks, a hit and an error. Jake Williams’ two-out RBI single knotted the score at 3.
Florida freshman phenom pitcher Karsten Whitson, the ninth pick in last year’s MLB draft, shut down the Gamecocks for five scoreless innings before he was pulled after walking the leadoff man in the sixth.
“Whitson was really, really good,” USC coach Ray Tanner said. “We were just fortunate we were able to scratch and claw a little bit. Yesterday we competed and came up short. Today we fought back and were able to win a tough one on the road.”
USC scored the winning run in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk by Adrian Morales.
Two innings earlier, the Gamecocks escaped a jam thanks to an odd play.
Florida loaded the bases with no outs but failed to score after a controversial double play halted its rally. The Gators’ Josh Adams grounded to third, and Morales got a force out at the plate. Adams was called out at first when the umpire ruled Florida’s Brian Johnson interfered with the catcher as he slid into home. Gamecocks right-hander John Taylor got a strikeout to end the inning.
“That shows our resiliency,” Bradley Jr. said. “We come in here and all the No. 1 talk and playing in their field, but you still have to go out there and play the game. Everything is not going to be handed to you. We battled and fought, and everything worked our way today.”
Price entered with two outs and a runner in scoring position in the seventh, and he induced an inning-ending flyout to squelch Florida’s last scoring threat.
“It was a tough day for him yesterday, but today he goes back out there and, in the most difficult circumstances, gives us a chance to win,” Tanner said. “I’m extremely proud of him.”
#4 South Carolina at #1 Florida
Mar 27, 2011 at Gainesville, Fla. (McKethan Stadium)
South Carolina 4 (18-5,4-2 SEC)
|Adam Matthews rf||4||2||2||0||1||2||2||0||0|
|Peter Mooney ss||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||1||2|
|Jackie Bradley Jr. cf||3||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||0|
|Christian Walker 1b||3||1||0||1||1||1||10||1||1|
|Adrian Morales 3b||3||0||1||2||1||1||0||2||0|
|Jake Williams dh/lf||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||0||1|
|Brady Thomas c||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||2||3|
|Robert Beary lf||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0|
|Evan Marzilli lf/rf||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Scott Wingo 2b||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||4||0|
|Bryan Harper p||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|Colby Holmes p||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|John Taylor p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Matt Price p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Florida 3 (21-4,4-2 SEC)
|Nolan Fontana ss||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Daniel Pigott lf||5||0||2||0||0||1||4||0||0|
|Preston Tucker rf||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0|
|Austin Maddox dh/p||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Brian Johnson 1b||2||1||0||0||2||0||7||0||1|
|Mike Zunino c||4||1||3||0||0||1||8||2||0|
|Kamm Washington cf||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||0|
|Josh Adams 2b||3||0||0||1||0||0||2||4||1|
|Zack Powers 3b||3||0||1||1||0||1||4||2||2|
|Jeff Moyer ph||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Karsten Whitson p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Nick Maronde p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tommy Toledo p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Score by Innings||R||H||E|
|South Carolina||000 003 010 – 4||5||0|
|Florida||030 000 000 – 3||7||1|
E - Fontana(5). DP - S. Carolina 1. LOB - S. Carolina 7; UF 8. 2B - Matthews 2(4); Bradley Jr.(7); D. Pigott(14); Zunino(4). HBP - Mooney 2. SH - Bradley Jr.(1); Adams(4). CS - Mooney(1).
|Matt Price W,2-2||2.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||8||8||4||2||30|
|Tommy Toledo L,2-2||2.0||2||1||1||2||2||0||0||1||1||7||11||1||3||34|
Win - Price (2-2). Loss - Toledo (2-2). Save - None. HBP - by Whitson (Mooney); by Toledo (Mooney). PB - Zunino(2). Pitches/strikes: Harper 45/21; Holmes 50/28; Taylor 23/12; Price 30/19; Whitson 73/43; Maronde 9/5; Maddox 17/10; Toledo 34/17.
Umpires - HP: Jack Cox 1B: Jeff Head 3B: Danny EverettStart: 1:09 pm Time: 2:54 Attendance: 4393
Whitson faced 1 batter in the 6th.Holmes faced 1 batter in the 6th.