South Carolina beats Kentucky 3-1 to reach SEC semifinals

TheBigSpur

TheBigSpur

After being shut down for seven innings, Florida had a record-tying eighth inning with 11 runs to defeat Mississippi State 12-3 and reach the SEC tournament semifinals on Saturday. For us to hold them to one run is unbelievable.

The Tigers (41-17) came into the tournament with a first-round bye as one of the four top-seeded teams and reached the semifinal with wins of 10-3 against Missouri and 10-0 against Kentucky.

Justin Lewis held a no-hitter in this game until the sixth inning giving up his only hit of the game.

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Kentucky (39-20) will now head back to Lexington to await its NCAA Tournament draw on Monday. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits in six-plus innings with six strikeouts to three walks. SC is unranked. As this Kentucky baseball team is one of the top offenses in the SEC, this week's performance at the plate is disappointing.

Alex Destino walked to start things off and advanced on a sac bunt by Jonah Bride, Jacob Olson got to first on an error, and then pinch-hitter TJ Hopkins came through with a three-run homer to give SC the lead. There isn't a lot they can do at this point but once again it was shaky with Becker committing three errors at third today. The Wildcats are not tied for the second most errors in the SEC with Ole Miss at 63.

Hopkins' pinch-hit homer was the first since Matt Williams in 2016 for the Gamecocks vs. Rhode Island in the NCAA Regional and it is the first pinch-hit homer in the SEC Tournament since Julian Infante of Vanderbilt hit one in 2016. The Tigers last won the tournament in 2014.

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Poché pitched seven innings against SC on May 6 at Alex Box Stadium, getting the 5-3 win for his eighth victory. Florida State is projected to be the two-seed, IN the three-seed and Kent State the four-seed.

The victor will play 2 p.m. Sunday in the championship against the victor of a Saturday semifinal between top-seeded Florida and No. 4 Arkansas.

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