Founders Park — Columbia, SC
Thursday, April 6, 2023
The Gamecocks hosted the #1 LSU Tigers for a series that has been marked on calendars for most of the season and boy, did it live up to the hype. LSU ace, Paul Skenes, started Game 1 vs the stacked Carolina lineup. Freshman Ethan Petry, who’s been on a tear all season long, kept things rolling. He blasted a 2-run home run (his 14th) off of Skenes in the 1st inning and got all of it too! Skenes, who’s been one of if not the nations best pitcher all season long, didn’t last long in this one vs the Gamecocks as he only went 3IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 8K, 0BB, throwing 49 pitches, after also surrendering a solo home run to Braylen Wimmer.
The Gamecocks later tagged Micah Bucknam for 5 runs in the 5th, thanks to a yet another home run, a Grand Slam, from Petry (15th). Dylan Brewer blasted one of his own as well with a solo homer. South Carolina continued to score runs in the 6t, 7th, and 8th innings as well, lead by 2 RBI walks and a hit by pitch, all in the 7th inning.
On the other side of things, Will Sanders got the start for the Gamecocks, but wouldn’t go long, with a finishing line of 3IP, 2H, R, 0ER, 4K, 0BB, facing 13 batters and throwing 53 pitches. James Hicks would come on in relief and earn the win. Hicks went 4IP, 2H, 2R, K, BB, throwing 64 pitches. Eli Jones threw an inning, giving up 2H, 2ER, 3K, 0BB. Wesley Sweat finished things off with a clean inning, allowing no hits with one strikeout as the Gamecocks route the unanimous #1 team in the nation, LSU, 13-5.
- Ethan Petry: 2-3, 8RBI, 2R, K
- Braylen Wimmer: 2-3, 2RBI, 2R, 2BB
- Jordan Thompson: 2-4, 3RBI, R
STATS & NOTES
- Carolina improved to 19-0 at home this season.
- Carolina now has 76 home runs on the season.
- First win over the #1 team in the nation since the Gamecocks the doubleheader versus Texas last season.
Friday, April 7, 2023
Game 2 of the series was nothing like how Game 1 went, except for Carolina scoring early. The Gamecocks tagged the Tigers starting pitcher, Ty Floyd, for 4 runs in the 2nd on only 1 hit and 4 walks. Floyd finished 3IP, H, 4ER, 2K, 4BB on 66 pitches. LSU responded in this back and forth affair with 3 of their own in the 4th courtesy of a Tommy White solo home run and a Jordan Thompson 2-run homer. The Gamecocks would get those 3 runs back in the bottom of the 5th behind a bases loaded Talmadge LeCroy single, an RBI walk, and an RBI ground out from Michael Braswell, to make it 7-3.
The next few innings were more quiet until the 8th, when LSU’s Gavin Dugas launched a clutch Grand Slam (10th HR) to tie it up at 7 off the first pitch he saw from reliever, Cade Austin, who went 1IP, 2H, 4ER, 2K, 2BB, WP. Then, in the top of the 9th, Cade Beloso came through with a clutch RBI single to plate the go-ahead run, which would be the deciding factor in the game as LSU would come from behind to win it, 8-7, and avoid the series loss. LSU also hands Carolina their first loss at home this season.
LSU Head Coach: Jay Johnson had this to say: “What our guys do best is stick together, so I’m really not surprised this happened. It’s a testament to them, both in their ability and their heart. That’s why we’re ranked No. 1. What you just saw in that game, along with talent, is why we’re the No. 1 team in the nation.”
- Gavin Dugas: 1-3, 4RBI, R, 2BB, K
- Jordan Thompson: 1-2, 2RBI, 2R, 2BB
- Cole Messina: 2-5, 2RBI, R
STATS & NOTES
- Carolina loses their 1st game at Founders Park this season.
- Game 3 was postponed and then cancelled shortly after due to weather.