Gamecocks Fall To Tigers 11-3 On Friday Night
April 25, 2008
Baton Rouge, La. - LSU erased an early two-run deficit and scored 11 consecutive runs on its way to an 11-3 victory over South Carolina in game one of a three-game SEC baseball series. LSU improves to 26-16-1 and 7-11-1 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 31-12 and 11-8 in the conference. Both teams meet in game two of the series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 4 pm ET. It can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and on gamecocksonline.com.
LSU starter Blake Martin earned the victory and improved to 2-3 for the season. He went 8.1 innings and allowed jus two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and five walks allowed. Carolina starter Mike Cisco suffered the loss and is 5-2 on the year. He went 5.2 innings and allowed 10 runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk allowed.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Reese Havens led off the game with a sharp hit ball that knocked first baseman Matt Clark in the face and allowed Havens to reach second base for a double. The two base hit extended Havens' hitting streak to 13 games. He would then score on Whit Merrifield's RBI base hit to right field.
That lead increased to 2-0 in the second inning with Merrifield driving in his second run of the game. With two outs Scott Wingo singled, advanced to second on a walk issued to Reese Havens and scored on Merrifield's RBI double down the left field line. Carolina looked to get more on Martin loading the bases only to see a lined shot from James Darnell caught by second baseman Ryan Schimpf to limit the Gamecocks to just a run in the inning.
LSU touched Cisco for five runs in the bottom half of the second inning to take a 5-2 lead. The Tigers had a walk to Matt Clark followed by three consecutive singles from DJ LeMahieu, Leon Landry and Jared Mitchell. Landry's single drove in Clark with Mitchell collecting two RBIs on a single through the right side. With two outs and Mitchell on second base, the Tigers would get two more runs on a two-run homer from Michael Hollander to left field. Hollander drove a 1-1 pitch from Cisco for his fourth homer of the year.
That lead increased to 7-2 in the third inning on the second homer of the game from the Tigers. Matt Clark knocked a 1-0 pitch from Cisco over the scoreboard in right field to put LSU on top by five runs. LSU scored three more times in the sixth inning to go ahead 10-2 with RBIs from Schimpf, Hollander and Dean. After a run in the eighth inning, the Gamecocks scored their final run in the ninth inning on a solo homer from Justin Smoak, his 17th of the season and 56th of his career. Smoak is also now tied for fourth on the USC All-Time List with 184 career RBI. The school record is 198 and is held by Mac White and Chris Boyle.
LSU out-hit the Gamecocks 15-8 on Friday evening, the third highest hit total by an opponent against Carolina this year. Hollander, Landry and Mitchell all had three hits apiece for LSU. Blake Dean added two hits as well. Whit Merrifield and Justin Smoak led the Gamecocks with two apiece. Merrifield has five multi-hit performances in the last six games. Smoak also has a 17-game hitting streak.