What is it about Hoover that makes South Carolina teams melt? Even over the last two seasons, when the Gamecocks were en route to back-to-back national titles, South Carolina could manage only a 1-4 record in Hoover. So it's no real surprise that the Gamecocks were knocked out of the SEC baseball tournament in three games.
What was notable about the game was the way that Florida leveled South Carolina. By the end of the third inning, the Gators were leading 4-0. They tacked on three more in the fifth inning and coasted to a comfortable 7-2 win. By the time the Gamecocks went to their third pitcher and finally stabilized things, the game was already over.
Florida had no such problems on the mound. Brian Johnson needed just 89 pitches for the complete game. Johnson gave up just five hits and struck out five while walking no one.
For Florida, the win means a national seed -- and with it, homefield advantage until Omaha -- is assured. Even before the Gators headed to Hoover, they were seen as a near lock for a national seed. Now, they only have to get through Vanderbilt and the winner of Kentucky-Mississippi State to claim an SEC tournament title as well.
The picture is more complicated for South Carolina. There's nothing particularly compelling about an SEC tournament resume that has a loss to Vanderbilt, a win against Auburn and another loss to Florida. Of course, the Gamecocks won in 2010 without a national seed and in 2011 with one. And, after all, it's not like there's a team in the running for the national seed that would force South Carolina to play in Hoover.