LSU Takes Two Of Three From SC At The Sarge

After posting eye-catching numbers the first 20 games of the season, South Carolina pitchers' were battered for 18 hits and five walks in a 12-7 loss to LSU Sunday in the finale of a three-game SEC showdown series before 5,982 sun-drenched fans at Sarge Frye Field ...

LSU won the series, two games to one. USC, 19-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, must play its next two SEC series on the road (at Arkansas and Vanderbilt).

Losing pitcher Matt Campbell, who entered the contest with a sparkling 4-0 record and 0.00 ERA in 27-2/3 innings, gave up seven hits and six runs in 3-1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season as a starter.

LSU broke the game open with five runs in the 3rd. USC scored three runs in the 5th on some two-out lightning, and then scored twice in the 7th and had the bases loaded before a controversial interference call at second base shortcircuited the rally.

Campbell looked sharp in the 1st, retiring the Tigers in order on a liner to left and two strikeouts.

USC jumped on LSU starter Nate Bumstead quickly with a run in the 1st. Steve Tolleson (2-for-3, 2 runs) dumped a single into left and stole second. After Triplett failed to advance the runner with a groundout to short, Steve Pearce (3-for-3, 2 RBI) ripped a double to left-center that easily scored Tolleson with the game's first run.

Powell flied out to center for the second out, and Winn walked, putting runners at first and second with two outs for Michael Campbell. However, he struckout swinging to end the inning.

Campbell's streak of 28-2/3 scoreless innings to start the season came to an end in the 2nd when Matt Liuzza, LSU's cleanup hitter, homered to left. However, Campbell was unfazed, striking out the next two hitters.

Campbell added another strikeout in the 3rd to raise his total to five through three innings.

Bumstead set down six in a row before Pearce walked with two outs in the third. Powell grounded to second to end the inning.

Campbell allowed a single and double to open the LSU 4th before surrendering a three-run homer on a 2-2 pitch to Liuzza. The blast gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

LSU added two more runs on a bases-loaded single to left before Campbell was lifted in favor of Jason Fletcher, who brought calm to the chaos with a soft liner to left and a strikeout.

Four consecutive hits with two outs in the bottom of the 5th put USC back in the hunt. Tolleson recorded USC's first hit since the 1st with a two-out double to left-center. Triplett brought the crowd, which had had little to cheer for, to its feet with a single through the hole into left. Tolleson beat the throw home with a head first slide as Triplett went to second.

Pearce reached on an infield single which moved Triplett to third. Powell, 7-for-10 in the first two games, tripled off the centerfield wall, missing a homer by inches, to score both runners, cutting the lead to 6-4.

LSU got two of those runs back in the 6th to take an 8-4 lead. Ryan Mahoney doubled with two outs in the bottom of the 6th for USC but went no further as Davy Gregg grounded out to the first baseman.

A solo homer off the left field foul pole gave LSU a 9-4 lead in the 7th. The Tigers added another run in the inning for a 10-4 lead.

The 7th inning will be remembered by Gamecocks fans for the disputed interference-illegal slide call that prevented a potential big inning for USC.

The Gamecocks loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a single. Powell got new life when the LSU pitcher and third baseman botched an easy popup in foul territory.

Powell took ball four on the next pitch, forcing in a run. Winn was caught looking at strike three. Michael Campbell walked on five pitches to force home another run, making it 10-6, and bringing the tying run to the plate.

With USC seemingly on the verge of something special, Campbell was called out for runners' interference (illegal slide) on a sharp grounder to short by King, resulting in a double play and getting the Tigers out of a major mess.

A LSU homer that barely got over the wall in left-center expanded the Tigers' lead to 11-6 in the 9th. The final run scored on a single to left.

Pearce had a solo homer to left in the bottom of the 9th to complete the scoring.

NOTES: USC is 7-6 against LSU in the last 13 meetings. . . Landon Powell extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a triple Sunday. Powell was 8-for-14 in the LSU series and 10-for-18 during the week. . .It was the first career triple for Powell. . .Steve Pearce's ninth inning homer gave him a team-leading 11 HR and 32 RBI this season. . .The two staffs combined for 27 hits and 11 walks Sunday.

LSU – 010 502 202 = 12-18-1
USC – 100 030 201 = 7-9-0

WP-Nate Bumstead (3-0)
LP-Matt Campbell (4-1)
Save-Clay Dirks (1)
HR-USC, Steve Pearce (9th, none on); LSU, Matt Liuzza 2 (2nd, none on; 4th, two on), Jon Zeringue ( 9th, none on).
Time: 2:49

Next Game: Tues. 3/23 at Wofford
Next Home Game: Fri. 4/9 v. Florida.

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