Baseball Surges Past South Carolina, 11-3
BATON ROUGE — Left-hander Blake Martin hurled 8.1 sensational innings, and the LSU bats erupted for 15 hits as the Tigers cruised to an 11-3 win over ninth-ranked South Carolina Friday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The LSU-South Carolina series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The contest can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and live video and audio will be available in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
The Tigers (26-16-1, 7-11-1 SEC) scored 11 unanswered runs after facing an early two-run deficit. South Carolina fell to 31-12 and 11-8 in the SEC with the loss.
Martin (2-3) enjoyed the best outing of his LSU career as the junior struck out seven to record the victory. The native of Boaz, Ala., limited the Gamecocks ? the SEC leader with 78 home runs this season — to two runs on seven hits.
Third baseman Michael Hollander finished 3 -for- 5 with a home run and three RBI to pace the Tigers offensively. Outfielders Leon Landry and Jared Mitchell each collected three hits, and Mitchell blasted his second dinger of the season.
First baseman Matt Clark also connected on a homer, his 16th of the season, and shortstop DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to nine games with a second inning single.
“We fall behind 2-0,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “The team didn’t flinch at all. They had all the confidence in the world that they could come back.
“We had a couple of pretty good at-bats, we strung some stuff together and Blake really settled in and pitched great.”
South Carolina notched an early run in the first inning to take a 1-0 advantage. Shortstop Reese Havens doubled to lead off the game, and center fielder Whit Merrifield drove him in with an RBI single.
Merrifield put the Gamecocks up 2-0 with an RBI double in the second inning.
LSU rebounded in the bottom of the second to take the lead, 5-2. Landry ripped a base hit into center field to plate one run, and Mitchell followed with a two-run single.
Hollander capped off the frame with a two-run shot into the left field bleachers.
The Tigers added to their lead in the third as Clark launched a mammoth, two-run homer to right- center field.
LSU added three runs in the sixth to break the game open, 10-2, and Mitchell homered in the eighth to give the Tigers their 11th run.
Martin remained strong deep into the game. After giving up a lead-off single and a walk in the eighth, the southpaw retired two straight and fanned pinch-hitter Adam Crisp looking to end the frame.
South Carolina pitcher Mike Cisco (5-2) was charged with the loss after surrendering 10 earned runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings.
LSU 11, South Carolina 3 (Apr 25, 2008 at Baton Rouge, La.)
South Carolina…… 110 000 001 – 3 8 0 (31-12, 11-8 SEC)
LSU…………………. 052 003 01X – 11 15 0 (26-16-1, 7-11-1 SEC)
Pitchers: South Carolina – Mike Cisco; Alex Farotto(6); Will Casey(8).
LSU – Blake Martin; Louis Coleman(9).
Win-Blake Martin(2-3) Loss-Mike Cisco(5-2) T-2:35 A-7176
HR SC – Justin Smoak (17).
HR LSU – Michael Hollander (4); Matt Clark (16); Jared Mitchell (2).
Weather: 77 degrees and cloudy
Actual attendance: 2,930