Not even a lightning delay could stop No. 6 South Carolina on Thursday night, as the Gamecocks trounced No. 1 LSU 13-5 to open the series.
USC wasted no time getting on the board, going up 2-0 in the first after Braylen Wimmer reached on an error to start things off and Ethan Petry went yard. The Tigers ended the shut out in the next inning, making it 2-1 courtesy of a Jordan Thompson single. The Cocks answered by getting the run right back when Braylen Wimmer hit a solo shot with one out in the third inning and made the score 3-1.
The weather caused a pause in the game after that, but Carolina must have been electrified by the lightning, because they scored five runs in the fifth. Evan Stone was hit by a pitch, Wimmer singled, and Gavin Casas also got plunked to load the bases with no outs. Petry then blasted a grand slam, putting the Gamecocks up 7-1. With one out, Brewer homered too, making it an 8-1 game.
South Carolina added another run in the sixth, when Michael Braswell walked and later scored on a sac fly by Petry, bumping the score to 9-1. LSU got a couple of the runs back in the seventh, making it 9-3 thanks to a Thompson dinger. The Cocks responded by scoring three more runs of their own. Brewer got hit by a pitch, then Talmadge LeCroy and Carson Hornung both walked to load the bases with no outs again. Braswell also walked, forcing in a run and making the score 10-3, then Wimmer also walked with one out to bring in another run and push the lead to 11-3. With two outs, Petry got hit and another run came home, putting the home team up 12-3.
Both teams’ final runs of the game came in the eighth. In the top of the inning, Cade Beloso went yard to make it a 12-5 game, then Brewer lead off the bottom of the inning with a base hit and later scored on a fielder’s choice.
USC starter Will Sanders worked three innings and allowed two hits and one run. He didn’t walk any batters and struck out four. After the weather delay, James Hicks, Eli Jones, and Wesley Sweatt combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks, and Hicks got the win, making him 6-0. Tigers starter Paul Skenes took the loss and is now 5-1.
Wimmer, Petry, Brewer, and LeCroy had two hits each to pace South Carolina, and Petry tallied an incredible eight RBI. Thompson and Beloso had two hits apiece to lead LSU, while Thompson also recorded three RBI.
The Cocks are now 28-3 overall and 9-1 in the SEC, while the Tigers are 25-5 on the season and 6-4 in conference play. They’re set to play a doubleheader on Friday, with the first pitch in the first game scheduled for noon at Founders Park. Jack Mahoney is set to start on the mound for the home team.