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LSU baseball drops Saturday doubleheader, series to South Carolina

7 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago Saturday, April 17 2021 Apr 17, 2021 April 17, 2021 10:54 PM April 17, 2021 in Sports
Source: LSU Athletics

BATON ROUGE, La. – Fifth-ranked South Carolina posted two seven-inning wins over LSU Saturday in Alex Box Stadium, as the Gamecocks defeated the Tigers by scores of 4-2 and 9-0 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

South Carolina is 24-10 overall and 10-5 in the SEC, while LSU is 21-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play.

The Tigers are back in action on Tuesday when they face the ULM Warhawks at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+ and will be carried on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.

LSU held a 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning of the first game, but the Gamecocks struck for four runs and held on for the 4-2 victory.

In the nightcap, South Carolina starting pitcher Will Sanders (6-1) worked six shutout innings to lead the Gamecocks to the win.

"We were very close to having a great series win against the No. 5 team in the country," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, "but we weren't able to close out the first game. Obviously, it was a tough day for us. You have a chance to win the first game and win the series, and it turns out to be a heartbreaking loss.

"We tried to put that loss behind us in between games, but it's easier said than done. We were trying to piece our pitching together in the second game and trying to figure out how to adjust to the loss of a great starting pitcher (Jaden Hill). We just didn't get off to a good start and got ourselves in a hole right away. From here, we've just got to keeping taking one game at a time and get ready for the next challenges."

LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1 when third baseman Cade Doughty lined an RBI double, and the Tigers extended the advantage to 2-0 in the second on second baseman Zach Arnold's sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile LSU starting pitcher AJ Labas blanked South Carolina through the first six innings before the Gamecocks rallied in the seventh. First baseman David Mendham and catcher Colin Burgess hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and pinch hitter Noah Myers bunted the runners to second and third.

Devin Fontenot relieved Labas and gave up a two-run double to second baseman Braylen Wimmer to tie the game 2-2. Fontenot hit shortstop George Callil with a pitch before centerfielder Brady Allen broke the tie with a two-RBI double.

South Carolina right-hander Brett Kerry retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the seventh to earn his third save of the season. Reliever Andrew Peters (3-1), who worked the fifth and sixth innings for the Gamecocks, was credited with the win as he allowed on runs on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.

Fontenot (1-2) was charged with the loss as he allowed two runs on two hits in 0.2 inning with one strikeout. Labas worked 6.1 innings and was charged with two runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

Sanders (6-1) walked one and recorded four strikeouts in Game 2, limiting the Tigers to no run on five hits in six innings.

LSU starter Blake Money (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he allowed five runs on five hits in one inning with one walk and one strikeout.

Mendham's two-run homer in the first inning gave the Gamecocks and early lead they would not relinquish. South Carolina collected 14 hits in the contest, including a 3-for-4 effort by rightfielder Andrew Eyster, who drove in a run and scored twice.

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