May 23, 2002
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Sean Barker batted 3-for-5 with two RBI including an RBI single in a five-run seventh inning as LSU (40-17) defeated second ranked South Carolina (45-13) 8-3 in the second round of the SEC Baseball Tournament. Brian Wilson pitched seven innings of baseball to get the win for the Tigers improving his record to 9-4, while USC relief pitcher Blake Taylor took the loss dropping his record to 5-1 on the year. South Carolina will face Arkansas on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET, with the winner moving on in the SEC Tournament to face LSU on Saturday. South Carolina defeated Arkansas 10-1 on Wednesday evening.
Carolina opened up a 1-0 lead on the Tigers in the bottom of the third inning. After singles by Drew Meyer and Steve Thomas, third baseman Brian Buscher extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single to left field to score Meyer. South Carolina added a second run in the fifth inning as Thomas scored on a passed ball by Tiger catcher Chris Phillips.
The Tigers came right back in the top of the sixth to knot the game at two. Barker led off the inning with a home run to left field off of Carolina starter Steven Bondurant. With one out and Matt Heath on second base, Bondurant looked to have a pick off. During the rundown, second baseman Kevin Melillo’s throw hit Heath in the back and went into foul play, allowing Heath to score from second to home, tying the game at 2-2.
South Carolina regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth as Justin Harris tripled to left center and scored off a wild pitch by Wilson.
The Tigers were not done though as Jon Zeringue led off the top of the seventh with a double to left center off of reliever Aaron Rawl. Senior RHP Blake Taylor entered the game for Carolina. After walking J.C. Holt and getting Aaron Hill to fly out to right, Wally Pontiff singled to score Zeringue and tie the game at 3-3 Barker added an RBI single and David Raymer also hit an RBI single to score two as LSU climbed to a 7-3 lead. LSU was able to get one more run in the eighth inning as Pontiff had his second RBI single of the night.
Steve Thomas batted 2-for-3 and Brian Buscher batted 2-for-5 to lead Carolina.