LSU right hander Kevin Gausman shut down the USC offense on just five hits and the Tigers supported him with a pair of home runs in a 12 hit attack in a 5-2 win in the series opener at Carolina Stadium.
The hard throwing Gausman bested Michael Roth who suffered his first loss of the season. Roth pitched 8 innings and allowed 10 hits tieing the high mark of his career. Gausman improved to 9-1 with his second consecutive complete game victory. And he only needed 102 pitches.
The Tigers led 2-1 after scoring single runs in the first and fourth innings. In the 5th, Mason Katz cracked his 11th homer of the season, a solo shot to left to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
It stayed that way until the ninth when the Tigers added some insurance runs on a two run homer to left by Jordy Snikeris off Patrick Sullivan.
The Gamecocks did make a little noise in the bottom of the 9th. Joey Pankake, who had an RBI single in the 4th, singled in his second run of the game. Connor Bright followed with a single with Pankake advancing to second. That brought the tieing run to the plate in Kyle Martin but he grounded out to short on the first pitch from Gausman to end the game.
With the loss the Gamecocks fall to 17-10 in the SEC and trail LSU and Kentucky for the league title. They are each 18-10.
Game two of the series is at 7:00 tonight. Forrest Koumas will start for USC against freshman righthander Aaron Nola.