Patterson, Meier lead LSU past USC 5-1

A two-run blast by Ryan Patterson and a superb pitching performance from Justin Meier helped the LSU Tigers cruise past the South Carolina Gamecocks Friday night at Alex Box Stadium. <br><br> The Tigers (20-9-1, 8-1-1 in SEC) will look to win their fourth consecutive SEC series this season when they meet the Gamecocks Saturday at 3 p.m. The first pitch for Sunday's final game is slated for 1 p.m.

Meier, filling in for an injured Brian Wilson, went the distance in his first SEC start, striking out eight batters in nine innings of work. He allowed one run on 10 hits improving his record to 4-0 on the season. Meier's complete game victory took only two hours and eleven minutes.


"I'll get Lane (Mestepey) to talk to him (Meier) and get him to speed it up," LSU head coach Smoke Laval joked.


Mestepey had a habit of disposing teams in complete game fashion in less than tow hours last season.


Meier got the starting nod for his first league start after it was learned Wilson could miss the remainder of the season with an arm injury. Meier, though, was not affected by the pressure of starting an SEC contest.


"You have to a little more focus in these weekend games because SEC games are more important," Meier said. "I am just trying to fill in for Brian and do what he would do."


Meier has earned the respect of teammates after two solid outing sin conference action.


"Everyone has the utmost confidence in Meier," said Clay Harris, who hit his sixth home run in the eighth inning. "He showed us that again tonight. He is showing how good he really is."


For the second consecutive game, a Patterson home run propelled the Tigers to victory. He belted a three-run bomb in the sixth inning giving LSU a 3-2 lead en route to a 5-2 victory against Nicholls on Wednesday. Friday, Patterson drilled a 1-0 Steve Boundurant pitch over the left field wall in the bottom of the second setting the tone for the evening.


"I went up there just trying to get on track early in the game," Patterson said. "He (Bondurant) was pitching everybody away so I was looking away. Then he left one in, I got a good piece of it and it stayed fair. I go another one."


A J.C. Holt double in the home half of the third scored Bruce Sprowl, who had ripped a two-bagger to lead off the inning giving LSU a 3-0 advantage.


The Tigers added another run in the seventh when Matt Liuzza led off with a single. He advanced to third on a pair of sacrifices by Holt and Aaron Hill. Liuzza then scored on a fielder's choice by Ivan Naccarata.


LSU tacked on its final run of the contest when Clay Harris belted his sixth round tripper of the season with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth.


USC (19-10, 4-5 in SEC) scored its only run of the game when the Gamecocks loaded the bases with three consecutive base hits leading off the third inning. Bryan Triplett was responsible for South Carolina's only dent in the scoreboard before Meier retired the side.


"That was their right hook and our knees wobbled but we didn't go down," Laval said.


The Gamecocks never threatened again.

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