Tigers Nip Gamecocks 5-2 In Series Opener
May 18, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman hurled a complete game and was backed by homers from Mason Katz and Jordy Snikeris as the ninth ranked Tigers defeated second ranked South Carolina 5-2 in game one of a doubleheader at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina is now 38-14 and 17-10 SEC with LSU 41-13 and 18-10 in the SEC. Game two of the series and doubleheader is set for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game." Live video broadcast is also available at GamecocksOnline.com.
Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake paced South Carolina with two hits on the day, with three other Gamecocks collecting hits on the afternoon. Katz and Snikeris led the LSU offense with two hits apiece. Raph Rhymes and JaCoby Jones also posted multi-hit games for LSU as well.
The Tigers took an early lead in the top of the first as leadoff specialist Austin Nola singled up the middle to get the inning started. After being sacrificed to second base by third baseman Tyler Hanover, Nola advanced to third on a chopper to short. Rhymes would walk to put runner on the corners with two outs for Snikeris. The Tiger catcher would single through the left side to plate Nola, and LSU took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the first.
The top of the fourth was another offensive breakthrough for LSU as Jones knocked a one-out single to the second base hole. Designated hitter Casey Yocum sacrificed Jones to second and set up Arby Fields with an RBI chance. The Tiger center fielder came through for the visitors with a two-out base hit up middle that scored Jones, and LSU led 2-0 as the game headed to the bottom of the fourth.
The Gamecocks struck back in the bottom half of the fourth, with LB Dantzler starting a two-out rally, singling to right field. Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner would follow with a walk to put runners on first and second, and the shortstop Pankake would put the Gamecocks on the board with a single into left, scoring Dantzler. LSU's Katz got the Tiger run back in the top of the fifth with a solo home run to the left field corner that extended the Tiger lead back to two.
LSU added to their lead again in the top of the ninth on a two-out, two-run homer by Snikeris to put the Tigers up 5-1. South Carolina would post a rally in the ninth, scoring a run on an RBI single by Pankake, but the Gamecock rally would fall short, and LSU would take game one.
LSU starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (9-1) went all nine innings and earned the win for the Tigers, allowing just five hits and two runs, while striking out six. Gamecock starter Michael Roth (5-1) took the loss for the first time this season, pitching eight innings and allowing three runs on 10 hits.