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LSU's Tyler Moore
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
South Carolina Comes Back to Even Baseball Series
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Published: May 18, 2012, 10:35 PM (CT)
Updated: May 19, 2012, 09:46 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Top-ranked South Carolina erased a 3-0 deficit with a four-run sixth inning Friday night as the Gamecocks earned a split of a doubleheader with a 5-4 victory over No. 4 LSU in Carolina Stadium.

LSU won Game 1 of twin bill, 5-2, behind the complete-game effort of right-hander Kevin Gausman.

LSU is 41-14 overall and 18-11 in the SEC. The Tigers remain in contention for at least a share regular-season SEC championship. South Carolina is 39-14 overall and 18-10 in league play.

The series concludes with the final regular-season game of the year at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT) Saturday. The contest will be televised by ESPNU, and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.

"Kevin Gausman was outstanding for us in Game 1, and we earned a great team win," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We had a lot of big hits and competed extremely well at the plate against (South Carolina starter) Michael Roth, who is one of the best pitchers in the SEC. The second game was a tough loss in which we had opportunities to extend our lead, but we couldn't get the big hit at the right time. We still have a shot at winning the SEC title, so we're looking forward to getting right back out here on Saturday."

LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning  of Game 2 when first baseman Mason Katz drew a two-out walk and later scored on catcher Tyler Moore's RBI single.

The Tigers extended the lead to 2-0 in the second when leftfielder Raph Rhymes scored from third on a squeeze bunt by rightfielder Alex Edward.

SEC Baseball Standings
Eastern Division SEC Overall 
South Carolina 18-10 39-14
Florida 18-11 40-15
Kentucky 18-11 41-14
Vanderbilt 15-14 28-25
Georgia 14-14 31-23
Tennessee * 8-21 24-30
Western Division SEC Overall 
LSU 18-11 41-14
Arkansas 15-14 38-17
Mississippi St. 15-14 33-21
Ole Miss 14-15 34-21
Auburn 12-17 29-26
Alabama * 8-21 20-34
SEC Weekend Schedule

All Times Central and Subject to Change
* eliminated from SEC Tournament field

Saturday, May 19
LSU at South Carolina, noon (ESPNU)
Florida at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Georgia at Alabama, 1 p.m.
Kentucky at Mississippi St., 2 p.m.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 2 p.m.
Arkansas at Tennessee, 3 p.m.

SEC Tournament (starts Tuesday in Hoover, Ala.)
Print the Bracket (.pdf)

Tuesday, May 22
G1: #4 seed vs. #9 seed, 9:30 a.m.
G2: #6 seed vs. #7 seed, following game 1
G3: #3 seed vs. #10 Auburn, 4:30 p.m.
G4: #5 seed vs. #8 seed, following game 3

Wednesday, May 23
G5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 9:30 a.m.
G6: #1 seed vs. Low-Seed Winner of G1/2, following G5
G7: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, 4:30 p.m.
G8: #2 seed vs. Low-Seed Winner of G3/4, following G7

LSU added a run in the fifth on another RBI single by Moore, who was making his first career SEC start at catcher.

LSU's No. 1 catcher, Ty Ross, is out for the weekend after undergoing an appendectomy last Saturday, and back-up catcher Jordy Snikeris was injured in the ninth inning of Game 1 Friday when a foul ball struck his right hand. Snikeris' hand was sore and he could not grip a bat, forcing him to sit out Game 2 of the twin bill.

Trailing 3-0, South Carolina erupted for four runs in the bottom of the sixth against LSU starter Aaron Nola. First baseman Christian Walker launched a three-run homer and shortstop Joey Pankake delivered an RBI triple to highlight the rally.

The Gamecocks added a run in the seventh on a run-scoring double by rightfielder Adam Matthews, but LSU narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the top of eighth an RBI single by Rhymes.
 
South Carolina closer Matt Price, however, earned his ninth save the of the season, retiring the Tigers in order in the ninth inning. Price worked the final three innings, allowing one run on three hits in three innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.
 
South Carolina left-hander Tyler Webb, who relieved starter Forrest Koumas in the fifth inning, was credited with the win  as he fired 1.2 shutout innings and allowed three hits with one walk and one strikeout.

Nola (6-4) was charged with the loss as he gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Full Game 1 Recap, Highlights and Stats

Gausman fired his second consecutive complete game Friday to lead LSU to the win in the first game of the doubleheader.
 
Gausman (9-1) limited the Gamecocks to two runs on five hits in nine innings with two walks and six strikeouts. South Carolina left-hander Michael Roth (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing three runs on 10 hits in eight innings with four walks and four strikeouts.
 
Snikeris paced the Tigers' 12-hit attack in Game 1 by going 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run homer and three RBI.
 
LSU took  a 1-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Austin Nola led off the game with a singled and later scored on a two-out single by Snikeris.
 
The Tigers increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth when second baseman JaCoby Jones singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Casey Yocom and scored on an RBI single by centerfielder Arby Fields.
 
South Carolina narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the fourth on Pankake's RBI single,  but a solo homer by Katz in the top of the fifth gave the Tigers a 3-1 advantage. The homer was Katz' 11th of the season and his second in consecutive games.
 
LSU increased its lead to 5-1 in the top of the ninth on a two-run blast by Snikeris, his second homer of the season.
 
Pankake's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth reduced the deficit to 5-2, but Gausman retired pinch hitter Kyle Martin with runners at first and second to end the game.
 
LSU 5, South Carolina 2 (May 18, 2012 at Columbia, S.C.) (Game 1)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
LSU...................... 100 110 002  -  5 12  0      (41-13, 18-10 SEC)
South Carolina...... 000 100 001  -  2  5  0      (38-14, 17-10 SEC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: LSU - Kevin Gausman and Jordy Snikeris.
South Carolina - Michael Roth; Patrick Sullivan(9); Logan Munson(9) and Grayson Greiner.
Win-Kevin Gausman(9-1)  Loss-Michael Roth(5-1)  T-2:19  A-7914
HR LSU - Mason Katz (11); Jordy Snikeris (2).

South Carolina 5, LSU 4 (May 18, 2012 at Columbia, S.C.) (Game 2)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
LSU...................... 101 010 010  -  4 11  0      (41-14, 18-11 SEC)
South Carolina...... 000 004 10X  -  5  8  1      (39-14, 18-10 SEC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: LSU - Aaron Nola; Joey Bourgeois(7); Chris Cotton(8) and Tyler Moore.
South Carolina - Forrest Koumas; Tyler Webb(5); Evan Beal(7); Matt Price(7) and Grayson Greiner.
Win-Tyler Webb(5-0)  Save-Matt Price(9)  Loss-Aaron Nola(6-4)  T-3:00  A-8242
HR SC - Christian Walker (10).
Beal faced 2 batters in the 7th.

 

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