Mark Kingston likes to say after South Carolina wins pitching sets the tone, and that was true Saturday.
The Gamecocks got a ton of early offense but the story of the day was a lights-out start from Matthew Becker as South Carolina completed the sweep of Florida 7-5.
South Carolina won all three games while never trailing at the end of an inning all weekend.
It was arguably the best start for Becker this season, keeping a vaunted Florida offense in check outside of Cade Kurland.
The only two hits Becker allowed over his five innings were to the right-handed second baseman, each of those solo home runs.
Outside of Kurland, Florida combined to go 0-for-15 against Becker with just one walk and six strikeouts as Becker picks up his first win in the weekend rotation.
After South Carolina’s offense produced early and dried up over the final six innings, the Gamecocks (34-6, 13-4 SEC) attacked Florida in waves Saturday.
Braylen Wimmer put South Carolina on top in the first inning thanks to a solo shot, the eighth straight game the Gamecocks have scored in the first inning. It was two of three RBI on the day for Wimmer. He also drove in a run with a groundout in the second.
South Carolina pulled away in the middle innings after chasing starter Jac Caglianone after just three-plus innings.
Ethan Petry broke things open in the fourth with a record-setting, two-run double. That gave him RBI No. 63 and 64 to break the Gamecocks’ freshman RBI record.
He now holds that and the freshman home run record, previously set in 2006 by Justin Smoak. Smoak had 63 RBI in 66 games. Petry did it in 40.
The Gamecocks got even more insurance in the fifth with a RBI knock from Jonathan French, a two-out, two-strike single.
South Carolina has been great all weekend with two outs and was again Saturday. The Gamecocks hit 4-for-11 with three of their six RBI coming with two away.
On the weekend South Carolina hit 13-for-34 (.382) with two outs with 16 two-out RBI.
Florida made it interesting, plating two off James Hicks in the eight in what was a solid bullpen outing. But the Gamecocks got a little more insurance in the eight and Chris Veach gave up just one run in the ninth to pick up the save.
Up next: South Carolina doesn’t have a midweek game this week while finals happen. The next time the Gamecocks play will be Friday when they host Auburn for a three-game series.
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