Gators win rain-delayed SEC tourney opener, beat South Carolina, 2-1 in 10 innings

Gem by Sproat puts Florida in good position; Gators prevail on walk-off
Florida infielder Colby Halter (5) bats during an NCAA baseball game against Liberty on Friday,...
Florida infielder Colby Halter (5) bats during an NCAA baseball game against Liberty on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022 in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)(Gary McCullough | AP)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WCJB) -After finishing the regular season 15-15 in SEC play, the Gator baseball team opened the conference tournament with a nail-biter on Tuesday night, defeating South Carolina, 2-1 in 10 innings. The game was delayed more than six hours due to rain in Hoover, Alabama, but once the teams took the field, it was good until the last drop. Florida advanced on Colby Halter’s game-ending sacrifice fly that scored Ty Evans from third base.

The throw from South Carolina center fielder Evan Stone beat Evans to the plate, but catcher Talmadge LeCroy dropped the ball applying the tag, giving the Gators their first walk-off win in the SEC tournament since 2005.

The game was a pitcher’s duel, and Florida’s Brandon Sproat was outstanding. Sproat took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished allowing four hits over eight and a third innings and striking out seven. He was two outs away from giving Florida its first complete game in the SEC tournament since A.J. Puk in 2015.

Both teams scored runs in regulation on balls that didn’t leave the infield. Florida pushed one across in the fourth when Josh Rivera hustled home from second on a ball hit by Jac Caglianone deep in the hole at short. The Gamecocks scored theirs on a fielder’s choice in the ninth.

Florida advances to face No. 2 seed Texas A&M at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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