USC was eliminated from the SEC Baseball Tournament Friday night in a 4-1 loss to LSU. The Gamecocks’ Nolan Belcher and the Tigers’ Louis Coleman hooked up in a pitchers duel for the first five innings matching each other shutout inning by shutout inning.
LSU broke thru against Belcher in the 6th scoring two runs on three hits. That was more than enough for Coleman, the SEC’s Pitcher of the Year. He scattered seven hits and allowed one run over eight innings. Gamecock leftfielder DeAngelo Mack had two of the hits off of Coleman.
Audio: DeAngelo Mack (:52)
Belcher was almost as good as Coleman allowing just five hits and two runs over six innings.
Audio: Nolan Belcher (1:16)
LSU added two more runs in the 8th against Gamecock reliever Adam Westmoreland for a 4-0 lead. But the Gamecocks would not go down quietly. They loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth. After giving up singles to Whit Merrifield and Mack, Coleman was lifted for Chad Jones. He walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and was replaced by SEC co-freshman of the year Matty Ott. Ott struck out Nick Ebert swinging, got Jeffery Jones to line out to second, and ended the game by getting a called third strike on pinch hitter Michael Roth. Merrifield says it’s another tough ending for the Gamecocks.
Audio: Whit Merrifield (2:18)
For the second straight night Gamecock coach Ray Tanner saw his team load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning with less than two outs and fail to score.
Audio: Ray Tanner (3:31)
The Gamecocks are now 38-21 and will learn their NCAA Tournament assignment Monday afternoon.
LSU 4-USC 1 Box Score