LSU improved to 16-5 overall, 3-2 in the SEC with Saturday’s victory. South Carolina, which captured Game 1 of the series, 7-3, on Friday night dropped to 14-5 and 2-3.
Coleman (5-1) earned the victory for LSU, firing 118 pitches in seven innings of work. He limited the Gamecocks to three runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
“Louis gave us exactly what we needed today,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He turned in seven strong innings, and he allowed us to even the series. He started out a little slow, but he found his rhythm and delivered another great outing. Our bats came alive today, and we hope to carry that momentum in Sunday’s game.”
LSU opened the scoring Saturday with a pair of runs in the first inning as rightfielder Jared Mitchell singled, moved to third on a throwing error by starting pitcher Adam Westmoreland and scored on leftfielder Chris McGhee’s infield single. McGhee moved to second base on shortstop DJ LeMahieu’s groundout, stole third base and scored on first baseman Sean Ochinko’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Gamecocks responded with a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by leftfielder DeAngelo Mack, and the Gamecocks tied the game in the second on a run-scoring single by third baseman Andrew Crisp.
The Tigers regained the lead in the third when Mitchell led off the inning with a homer, his fourth of the year.
LSU erupted for three runs in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. Sean Ochinko led off the inning with a single and scored on a two-run blast by catcher Micah Gibbs, his second dinger of the season. Second baseman Ryan Schimpf followed with a solo shot to give the Tigers a four-run advantage.
LSU added two more runs in the sixth as centerfielder Leon Landry delivered a sacrifice fly and third baseman Tyler Hanover connected on an RBI single.
Crisp led off the seventh inning with a home run to narrow the gap to 8-3, but LSU added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Gibbs reached on an error in the eighth and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Leon Landry, and third baseman Tyler Hanover contributed an RBI single in the ninth.
Relievers Matty Ott and Daniel Bradshaw combined to retire the Gamecocks in order over the final two innings.
Westmoreland (2-1) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered seven runs (six earned) on six hits in five innings with two walk and three strikeouts.
The teams meet in the series finale at 12:30 p.m. CT Sunday. Sunday’s game will be televised by SportSouth and can be seen in Louisiana on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Houston (Cable Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge).