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South Carolina vs. No. 1 LSU, game 3 recap: Gamecocks' regular season ends with 8-1 loss to Tigers

A rough regular season came to an end in a second-straight blowout loss.


Good bye and good riddance, 2015 regular season.

LSU got on the board first in the final game of this series, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a home run by Chris Chinea. The Tigers added two more runs in the next inning, thanks to an RBI double from Jake Fraley and a home run by Alex Bregman. They tacked on another run in the fifth inning on a Bregman RBI single.

The Gamecocks scored their only run of the night in the bottom of that inning.  Hunter Taylor walked to start things off, and came home when Marcus Mooney knocked a one-out single to make it 5-1. South Carolina had a great chance to tie the game - or at least make it closer - in the seventh inning, but they left the bases loaded instead.

The final three runs of the night for LSU came in the eighth inning. Chinea doubled with one out to bring one runner home, another run scored on a fielder's choice, and the third came when Jared Foster knocked a two-out RBI base hit. Things could have gotten worse, but the Tigers left three runners stranded to end the inning.

Starter Taylor Widener was sharp early on, striking out the side in the first inning, but he struggled a bit after that. Widener worked three innings and gave up four hits, four runs, didn't walk any batters, and struck out three. He took the loss and drops to 1-5 on the season. Josh Reagan took over for Widener and did a nice job, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing four hits and one run. He didn't issue any walked and tallied four strikeouts. Matthew Vogel, Reed Scott, John Parke, and Canaan Cropper also took the mound in this game.

Kyle Martin had the Gamecocks' final hit of the game, and it came when he singled to lead off the eighth inning. He was removed from the game for pinch runner Jordan Gore, and got a huge - and very well-deserved - standing ovation from the crowd at Carolina Stadium. In a season full of struggles and disappointment for South Carolina as a whole, Martin put together consistently strong performances, and it's really a shame that the team couldn't enjoy the same kind of success he did personally this year. It's also a shame that he returned for his senior season and won't even get to the postseason, barring a miracle.

Speaking of which, the Gamecocks are going to have to pull off one hell of a performance in Hoover to even have any shot at getting into the field of 64 for postseason play. Given that Hoover is apparently cursed ground for South Carolina, that doesn't seem very likely. The Gamecocks have also been mediocre at best for much of the season, so they kind of don't deserve to make the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina finishes the regular season with a record of 32-24 overall and 13-17 in the SEC, while LSU finishes 46-9 overall and 21-8 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday at the SEC Tournament, where they're the No. 10 seed and will play No. 7 seed Missouri.