The Tigers' dropped their series opener against South Carolina on Thursday, blowing a 6-2 lead before losing 10-7. LSU gave up four runs in the sixth before letting it all slip away in the seventh. The LSU bullpen walked five batters — four by Jake Godfrey — in that inning, as the Gamecocks rattled off eight unanswered runs to take the lead.
Meanwhile, the other contenders for an SEC title did get a win. Vanderbilt pulled out a 2-1 victory behind a 14-strikeout complete game by likely SEC Pitcher of the Year Carson Fulmer. Texas A&M shut out Ole Miss, 4-0, to take that series opener. Florida did lose to Auburn and is eliminated from the title race.
That leaves two challengers to LSU's SEC throne, but the Tigers still control their path to the championship. Here are the remaining scenarios with two games to play for LSU to clinch the conference title.
---LSU will win the SEC if it wins both of its final two games against South Carolina.
---LSU will win the SEC on Friday if it beats South Carolina AND Vanderbilt loses to Alabama. If both teams win Friday, LSU would just have to win its final game Saturday to take the title. If both teams lose Friday, the same applies, with LSU just needing to win its final game.
---If LSU loses Friday AND Vanderbilt wins, the Tigers would fall out of first place in the SEC. They would then have to beat South Carolina on Saturday AND have Vanderbilt lose to Alabama in the final game.
---Texas A&M is still alive to win the SEC if they complete their sweep of Ole Miss AND Vanderbilt wins one or neither of its remaining games AND LSU loses both of its remaining games.
So to sum it up, LSU can still finish anywhere from first to third in the SEC. The Tigers can also still clinch the conference championship as early as Friday, but LSU won't have to scoreboard watch if it just beats South Carolina in each of the final two games.
No. 1 LSU (44-9, 19-8 SEC) at South Carolina (32-22, 13-15)
Columbia, S.C. | Carolina Stadium
Friday, May 15 – 7 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Saturday, May 16 – 7 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
RHP Austin Bain (1-2, 2.98) vs. RHP Clarke Schmidt (2-1, 4.61)
RHP Alex Lange (9-0, 2.13) vs. TBA