LSU Loses Series Opener to South Carolina 10-7
The Tigers gave up eight runs over the 6th and 7th innings to lose to South Carolina and blew a chance to secure the SEC West Title in Game 1 of the season's finals SEC Series.
LSU Baseball Report/William P. Franques
SOUTH CAROLINA RALLIES FOR 10-7 WIN OVER LSU
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina erupted for eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings Thursday night to erase a four-run deficit and defeat top-ranked LSU, 10-7, at Carolina Stadium.
LSU dropped to 44-9 overall and 19-8 in the SEC. The Tigers hold a half-game lead over Vanderbilt (19-9) in the overall SEC standings and a one-game lead over Texas A&M (18-9) in the SEC Western Division race.
South Carolina improved to 32-22 overall and 13-15 in the SEC with Thursday’s win.
The teams resume the series at 7 p.m. CT Friday in a game that will be televised by ESPNU. Friday’s game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live stats and audio are available at www.LSUsports.net.
With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gamecocks took advantage of five walks issued by the Tigers to score four runs. Rightfielder Elliott Caldwell, designated hitter Alex Destino and catcher Hunter Taylor each drew bases-loaded walks, and third baseman DC Arendas added a sacrfice fly to give South Carolina a four-run cushion.
LSU reliever Jake Godfrey (7-1) was charged with the loss, as he started the seventh inning and allowed four runs on one hit with four walks and no strikeouts.
South Carolina reliever Reed Scott (2-3) was credited with the win, allowing one run on three hits in three innings with one walk and one strikeout.
LSU starter Jared Poche’ worked the first six innings and was charged with six runs – five earned – on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts. South Carolina stater Jack Wynkoop worked 5.1 innings and surrended six runs – five earned on 11 hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
“It’s disappointing, because we had a great offensive effort tonight against an excellent pitcher in Wynkoop,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I was really proud of what we did at the plate, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. We have to move past this loss and look forward to tomorrow with an opportunity to achieve some significant goals.”
LSU first baseman Chris Chinea highlighted the Tigers’ 15-hit output with a 4-for-5 effort, including a homer, a double and three RBI.
Second baseman Max Schrock launched a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning to give South Carolina a 1-0 lead, but LSU tied the game in the top of the second on Chinea’s solo dinger, his 10th home run of the season.
LSU erupted for four runs on five hits in the fourth inning against Wynkoop to take a 5-1 lead. Leftfielder Jake Fraley produced an RBI single, designated hitter Danny Zardon ripped a two-run double and rightfielder Mark Laird lifted a sacrfice fly to highlight the uprising.
The Gamecocks narrowed the gap to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by catcher Hunter Taylor, but LSU answered with a run in the top of the fifth on Chinea’s RBI double.
South Carolina tied the contest with four runs in the sixth against Poche’ – rightfielder Elliott Caldwell contributed an RBI groundout, Taylor lined a run-scoring single and third baseman DC Arendas unloaded a two-run homer, his third dinger of the season.