Riopelle’s clutch home run leads Florida to 5-4 win over South Carolina in super regional opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — BT Riopelle hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and Florida got two other home runs in a 5-4 victory over South Carolina on Friday in the weather-delayed opening game of the Gainesville Super Regional.
After a 2-hour, 37-minute weather delay, South Carolina’s Will McGillis hit the second pitch of the game for a home run. Gavin Casas added an RBI-single for a 2-0 lead, but the Gators tied it in the bottom of the first on a two-out home run by Josh Rivera.
McGillis came to bat again with one out in the second and delivered an RBI single for a 3-2 South Carolina lead.
Florida (49-15) tied it in the fifth on a leadoff home run by Tyler Shelnut and went ahead in the sixth on Riopelle’s deep drive to straightaway center field. Rivera scored from second on a two-out single by Shelnut in the eighth inning.
After South Carolina’s three early runs, the Gamecocks were shut down by Brandon Sproat (8-3) and Cade Fisher, as the two did not allow a runner past second base in the next six innings. Brandon Neely came in to pitch the ninth and allowed a two-out home run by McGillis — his third RBI of the game — before Braylen Wimmer grounded out to end it.
Sproat allowed three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in six innings. Fisher allowed one hit in two innings and Neely picked up his 13th save despite giving up the home run to McGillis.
Will Sanders (4-4), who gave up Riopelle’s home run, took the loss for South Carolina (42-20).
Game 2 in the best-of-3 series is set for Saturday, with South Carolina playing as the home team.
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