South Carolina, the two-time defending national champions, opened up a three-game home series against Florida tonight with the two highly-ranked clubs going in opposite directions. Not to worry for the #8 Gamecocks as they stopped the #1 Gators’ 18-game winning streak with a 9-3 triumph.

South Carolina entered the season ranked third (Baseball America) but fell down a few notches after getting swept by the still-undefeated Kentucky Wildcats last weekend. Florida, meanwhile, checked in with a 20-1 mark and the school-record winning streak intact.

LHP Michael Roth went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 1 ER on four hits with 3 BB and 5 K’s. RHP Matt Price came on to get the final out of the seventh, then benefitted from a four-run rally in the bottom of the inning that broke open what was a tight contest. Price was strong over 2 1/3 to finish the game, allowing one unearned run and no hits.

Florida starter Hudson Randall went 5 2/3 innings and struck out 11 South Carolina batters. But two of the four Gator relievers that came on, Austin Maddox and Ryan Harris, allowed 3 ER apiece as the Gamecocks won going away.

The series continues on Friday night and concludes on Saturday with a 1:00PM game.