Gausman, LSU shut down Carolina

Game one of the series between second ranked South Carolina and ninth ranked LSU lived up to its billing as a pitcher's duel, but in the end it was Kevin Gausman and the Tiger defense that came out on top, 5-2, Friday afternoon in game one of the double-header

Kevin Gausman is considered a legitimate number one draft pick in the upcoming Major League draft. He showed why on Friday afternoon in game one of a double-header between second ranked South Carolina and ninth ranked LSU. Gausman limited the Gamecocks to just five hits in tossing his second consecutive complete game and the Tiger offense pounded out 12 hits of their own and two homeruns in a 5-1 win.

The Tigers struck very early off Roth. Austin Nola led the game off with a single back through the box and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Hanover. Nola scored on a two-out single from Jordy Snikeris to give LSU a 1-0 lead.

LSU would strike again in the fourth inning through more small ball and clutch hitting. JaCoby Jones had a one-out single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Case Yocom. Arby Fields, the ninth hitter in the line-up, came up with a clutch single to score Jones and give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The Gamecocks would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth off of two of the three hits Gausman surrendered. LB Dantzler started the two-out rally with a single to right and advanced on a wild pitch. After Grayson Greiner worked a walk, Joey Pankake poked one over third and into left to score Dantzler.

Mason Katz wasted little time getting that insurance run right back. Katz crushed his eleventh homerun of the season over the wall in left to give the Tigers the 3-1 lead. Snikeris would put the game away in the ninth with a two-out two-run homerun to put the game out of reach.

Gausman would allow just one batter to reach base over the next four innings before the Gamecocks would briefly rally in the ninth, getting two hits by Pankake and Connor Bright to score a run, but Kyle Martin would ground out to end the game.

Pankake had two hits and both RBI's for Carolina, Evan Marzilli, Dantzler, and Bright had the other three hits for the Gamecocks.

Roth lost for the first time this season, falling to 5-1, and Gausman became the only "Friday night" starting pitcher to beat the Gamecocks, improving to 9-1 on the season.

With the win, LSU improves to 18-10 in SEC play and 41-13 on the season, tied with Kentucky for first in the SEC with two games to play. South Carolina drops to 17-10, 38-14 overall, half a game behind LSU and Kentucky, and half a game ahead of Florida. Carolina will need to win the two remaining games and hope Mississippi State can hand Kentucky another loss to win the SEC Championship.

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