South Carolina fell behind and was never able to catch up to LSU in Wednesday’s SEC Tournament game, losing 10-3 and putting themselves in danger of being eliminated.
The game was scoreless until the second, when the Tigers took a 2-0 lead on a homer by Brayden Jobert. The score held until the fifth, when Gamecocks ended the shutout with a solo shot by Ethan Petry that made it 2-1. LSU answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs on a pair of bases-loaded walks and a couple of sac flies, making the score 6-1.
USC’s final two runs of the game came in the next inning. Michael Braswell and Braylen Wimmer each singled with one out, and Jonathan French walked to load the bases. Then it was the Cocks’ turn to benefit from a pair of bases-loaded runs, as Petry and Talmadge LeCroy got free bases and made it a 6-3 game. The Tigers got those two runs back in the bottom of the inning, though, pushing their lead to 8-3 thanks to base hits by Tre’ Morgan and Hayden Travinski. LSU’s final two runs of the game were scored in the seventh, courtesy of singles by Dylan Crews and Tommy White.
Carolina starter Eli Jones worked four innings and allowed five hits and four runs. He also walked one batter, struck out three, and took the loss, making him 4-4. Nick Proctor, Jackson Phipps, Brett Thomas, and Connor McCreery combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. Tigers starter Thatcher Hurd went 5.1 innings and gave up four hits and three runs. He also issued two walks, struck four batters out, and earned the win, making him 4-2. Reliever Nate Ackenhausen got the save, his first.
Petry, Braswell, Wimmer, LeCroy, and Dylan Brewer had one hit each for USC, while Petry tallied two RBI. Four different players had two hits apiece for LSU, while four players also recorded two RBI each.
The Cocks are now 39-18 overall and 17-14 in conference play, while the Tigers are 43-13 overall and 19-10 in the SEC. South Carolina will face either Texas A&M or Arkansas in an elimination game on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 10:30 a.m.