USC baseball fans will no longer have to suffer thru blown leads, offensive droughts and fielding miscues. For them, a painful season ended early Wednesday morning in the elimination round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, AL with an 8-6 loss to LSU. The Gamecocks finish the season at 28-28, their fewest wins since a 25 win campaign in 1996.
But the Gamecocks did not go down without a fight. They put a five spot on the board in the second inning, chasing Tiger starter Cole Henry, to take a 5-1 lead. Chris Cullen had a two run double and Luke Berryhill a two run single in the rally.
The Tigers, however, knew they had plenty of frames remaining against a depleted and worn down Gamecock pitching staff. Cam Tringali yielded two runs right back in the bottom of the innig. He got thru a scoreless third and did not come out to start the fourth.
Dylan Harley did, and it did not go well. He hit the leadoff batter then uncorked a pair of wild pitches. His day was done and Parker Coyne was summoned. He gave up two RBI singles and plated another run with a wild pitch. The Tigers had a 6-5 lead and would not look back.
They added two more runs in the fifth while their relievers locked down the Gamecocks’ hitters. USC managed just two hits from the third inning on and had seven strikeouts.
LSU improved to 35-22 and advanced to play Mississippi State Wednesday night in the main draw of the tournament.
Gamecock postgame interviews: