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March 21, 2004

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Matt Liuzza and Jon Zeringue each homered twice Sunday in an 18 hit attack by Louisiana State and the Tigers defeated South Carolina 12-7 to win the season’s first Southeastern Conference baseball series two games to one.

LSU, ranked first nationally by Collegiate Baseball and fourth by Baseball America, improved to 18-3 overall, 2-1 in the SEC. South Carolina, ranked third by Baseball America and fourth by Collegiate Baseball, fell to 19-2, 1-2.

Nate Bumstead, 3-0, pitched six plus innings and allowed eight hits and six South Carolina runs to receive credit for the win. Clay Dirks pitched three innings to earn his first save of the season. He allowed one hit, a ninth inning home run by Steve Pearce, his 11th of the season.

Matt Campbell, who hadn’t allowed a run in 27 2/3 innings, gave up seven hits and six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. His record dropped to 4-1.

Liuzza had four runs batted in with a solo second inning home run and a three run homer in the fourth inning as LSU scored five times to take a 6-1 lead and drive Campbell from the mound. The first five Tiger batters hit safely in the inning including three singles, a double by J. C. Holt and the homer by Liuzza. Will Harris, the last batter faced by Campbell, added a one out double that drove in two runs.

South Carolina took a 1-0 first inning lead when Steven Tolleson singled, stole second and scored on a double by Pearce. South Carolina didn’t get another hit until the fifth inning when the Gamecocks tallied three times after there were two outs to narrow the LSU lead to 6-4.

Tolleson started the two out rally with a double and scored on a hit by Bryan Triplett. Pearce singled and Landon Powell tripled off the center field wall to drive in two runs. Brendan Winn grounded out to end the rally.

LSU broke the game open with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to lead 10-4.

South Carolina scored twice in its half of the seventh but a controversial double play ended the threat.

Hank Parks singled and Bryan Triplett walked to begin the inning. Dirks relieved Bumstead and walked Pearce to load the bases. Dirks dropped a foul pop up by Powell for an error before walking the South Carolina catcher to force in a run. Michael Campbell walked with one out to force in another. Tommy King grounded to shortstop and umpire Tony Walsh ruled an automatic double play on an illegal slide by Campbell at second base to end the rally.

Except for the ninth inning Pearce home run that was all the scoring by South Carolina.

The two LSU runs in the sixth inning tallied on three hits, by Blake Gill, Will Harris and Ryan Patterson, a walk and a sacrifice fly. In the seventh Zeringue homered and back to back doubles by Gill and Will Harris plated two runs.

Zeringue hit his second homer of the game in the ninth inning, Will Harris doubled, and scored on a hit by Ryan Patterson. Zeringue has six homers this season. Liuzza also has six homers.

Patterson, Zeringue and Will Harris had three hits apiece for LSU. Liuzza, Nick Stavinoah and Gill had two. Pearce had three hits for South Carolina, a double, an infield single and a homer, and drove in two runs. Tolleson had two hits before leaving the game in the sixth inning when his injured hamstring tightened up.

Powell, who had eight hits in 14 at bats in the series and stretched his hitting streak to 17 games, drove in three runs.

South Carolina begins a string of nine road games Tuesday with a non-conference game at Wofford. The Gamecocks are at Arkansas next weekend, meet North Carolina at Fort Mill in the non-conference “Battle of the Border” March 31, go to Vanderbilt for three SEC games and play at Clemson before a home conference series with Florida April 9-11.