No. 6 South Carolina came close to locking up another series victory on Friday afternoon, but a tough late inning led to an 8-7 loss to No. 1 LSU.
The Gamecocks got on the board first, taking a four-run lead. Talmadge LeCroy, Carson Hornung, and Evan Stone all walked to load the bases with one out, then Gavin Casas and Ethan Petry both got hit to force in a pair of runs and make it 2-0. Cole Messina followed with a double that brought in two more, pushing the score to 4-0.
The Tigers ended the shutout in the fourth, making it a 4-3 game thanks to homers from Tommy White and Jordan Thompson. USC got those three runs back in the next inning, though. Petry and Messina singled to start things off, then Dylan Brewer reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases again. LeCroy followed with a base hit that brought Petry home and made the score 5-3, then Hornung walked to force in a run and put the Cocks up 6-3. Brewer came in when Michael Braswell grounded into a double play, bumping the score to 7-3.
While Carolina had scoring chances again after that, they weren’t able to cash in. The same wasn’t true for LSU, who rallied in the eighth to tie the game at 7-7 courtesy of a Gavin Dugas grand slam. The Tigers’ final run of the game came in the ninth on a single by Cade Beloso.
Gamecocks starter went four innings and allowed four hits and three runs. He also walked two batters and struck out seven. Chris Veach, Cade Austin, and Eli Jones also pitched in this game, and Jones took the loss, making him 4-1. LSU starter Ty Floyd worked three innings and gave up four hits and four runs. He also issued four walks and struck two batters out. Reliever Gavin Guidry earned the win and is now 2-0.
LeCroy paced South Carolina at the plate with three hits, while Messina tallied two RBI. Seven Tigers players had one hit each, and Dugas recorded four RBI.
The Cocks are now 28-4 overall and 9-2 in conference play, while LSU is 26-5 on the season and 7-4 in the SEC. They’re set to play the second game of the doubleheader, which is also the rubber game, at Founders Park this afternoon, if the weather holds up.