Despite a quality start from senior left-hander Nolan Belcher, eighth-ranked South Carolina fell 3-2 to Florida on Thursday evening as the Gators took advantage of a pair of errors to score two unearned runs and earn the one-run victory over the Gamecocks in game one of a three-game series in Gainesville, Fla.
Game 2 of the series is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
Florida starting pitcher Jonathon Crawford worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts to pick up the win. He is now 2-5 on the year. Belcher hurled his second complete game and allowed three runs, one earned, on seven hits in eight innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He suffered the loss and is 5-3 for the season.
Florida right-hander Johnny Magliozzi pitched one inning of scoreless relief to earn his seventh save of the season.
"It was a tough game for us tonight," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "Belcher pitched his guts out. We didn't help him much defensively but you have to give Florida credit. They put some pressure on us and made some things happen."
South Carolina (27-8, 8-5 SEC) lost despite a 9-7 advantage in hits. Chase Vergason, Connor Bright and Grayson Greiner all finished with two hits apiece to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Justin Shafter and Vickash Ramjit both had two hits to lead Florida (17-18, 6-7) at the plate.