COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – The University of South Carolina baseball team rallied from down 6-0 to score eight consecutive runs in the last three innings to complete the three-game sweep from No. 19 LSU Sunday afternoon (April 22) at Founders Park.
South Carolina had double-digit hits for the third straight game, as TJ Hopkins went 3-for-5 while LT Tolbert had two hits. Tolbert joined Justin Row and Noah Campbell with two RBI.
LSU got on the board first in the top of the 3rd inning. Hal Hughes walked to lead off the inning and then Brandt Broussard reached on an error. A home run by Daniel Cabrera, LSU’s second three-run home run in the series, gave the Tigers the early 3-0 lead.
The Tigers came back and added three more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Hughes doubled to left field and Broussard singled to right center to start the inning off. Then Cabrera grabbed a couple more RBI’s for the day with a double to right field. Austin Bain’s single Cabrera to go up 6-0.
The Gamecocks had an answer in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tolbert and Jonah Bride both singled and Row walked to load up the bases for the Gamecocks with one out. With two away, Matt Williams walked, which scored Tolbert, A big two-run single from Noah Campbell on a 3-2 pitch was followed by an RBI single up the middle from Hopkins, making it 6-4.
South Carolina kept the rally going in the bottom of the seventh inning as Bride walked and trotted home on Row’s fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left.
The Gamecocks took the lead in the eighth. Hopkins led off the inning with a single and Cortes walked. Stokes hit a shot to second that was scooped up by Broussard, but his throw to second was wild, loading the bases. Tolbert stepped in the box and ripped a single to left field, scoring Hopkins and Cortes and giving the Gamecocks the lead, 8-6.
Eddy Demurias shut down LSU in relief for Cody Morris and got the win (4-0). Demurias pitched four innings and allowed three hits with four strikeouts and no runs. Morris struck out four in 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and five earned runs. Sawyer Bridges got the save as he recorded the last two outs for the Gamecocks to complete the comeback.
The Gamecocks plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth, cutting a six-run deficit to two. South Carolina had four runs in the inning as Williams, Campbell and Tolbert had run-scoring plays.
Eddy Demurias, pitching for the first time in eight days, earned the win in relief, striking out four batters in four innings. Demurias is now 4-0 on the season and has 20 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched in SEC play.
Carolina sweeps LSU for the first time since 2006 and for the first-time ever in Columbia.
The Gamecocks hit .355 with 13 extra-base hits and scored 30 runs in the three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Carolina is now 20-7 at Founders Park this season.
Sawyer Bridges pitched twice in a series for the first time this season, earning his second save of the year in Sunday’s win. Bridges lowered his ERA to 0.45 for the season.
TJ Hopkins went 7-for-15 with six RBI in the LSU series. It was his first starts of the year since March 20 due to injury.
The attendance was 7,141 at Founders Park. The three-game series attendance was 22,075.
The Gamecocks will open a four-game road trip with a midweek clash with Furman at Flour Field in Greenville. First pitch for Tuesday’s game (April 24) is scheduled for 7 p.m.