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March 18, 2007

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Trent Kline tallied a career-high four hits with a homer and two doubles and freshman starting pitcher Blake Cooper pitched 5.2 scoreless innings as South Carolina defeated LSU 9-5 on Sunday afternoon at Sarge Frye Field in the rubber game of a three-game college baseball series. South Carolina is now 17-3 and 2-1 in the SEC while the loss drops LSU to 13-9 and 1-2 in conference play. The Gamecocks return to action on Tuesday night hosting UNC Asheville at 7 pm ET and will also travel to Wofford on Wednesday for another non-conference match-up.

In his second consecutive weekend start, Cooper was solid allowing no runs and just two hits and one walk while striking out four batters as he worked into the sixth inning. Cooper is now 3-0 on the year and has pitched 15 scoreless innings this season in six appearances. LSU starting pitcher T. J. Forrest went five innings and allowed one run, unearned on two hits and suffered the loss. He is 1-1 this season. The Gamecocks went ahead of the Tigers 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Harley Lail walked to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a single by Kline. Lail would then score on a passed ball issued to catcher Sean Ochinko.

Both Forrest and Cooper settled in with neither team getting on the scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth inning when USC increased its lead to two runs. Kline factored in again with a one-out double and scored on Justin Smoak’s RBI single to right field. South Carolina would take a commanding 7-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning with five runs against LSU relief pitching. Travis Jones got things started with a one-out triple and Reese Havens walked to put runners on the corners. Lail then delivered with a RBI single to score Jones. Both Lail and Jones would then score on a RBI double from Kline that got past first baseman Buzzy Haydel and down the right field line. After walks to Justin Smoak and Phil Disher, the Gamecocks would go up by seven runs on another RBI single, this one courtesy of James Darnell.

The Tigers would respond however with a five-run inning of their own in the eighth inning. Ryan Schimpf got things started for LSU with a solo home run to left field. Walks to Buzzy Haydel and Michael Hollander would give the Tigers two runners on base and they would both score on a two-out RBI single by Blake Dean off Gamecock reliever Wynn Pelzer. Steven Waguespack would also connect with a two-run RBI double that cut Carolina’s lead to two runs.

South Carolina came back in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a four-run lead on Kline’s two-run homer to left field. He finished 4-for-5 with three runs and four RBI. His three runs and four RBI also tied a career-high. Kline finished the LSU series batting .615 (8-for-13) with three doubles, four runs, a homer and five RBI. He leads the team with a .380 batting average. Jones also went 2-for-4 on the afternoon with two runs as the Gamecocks finished with 10 on the afternoon. LSU’s leading hitter was Schimpf who went 3-for-4 with Dean also adding two hits.

Live audio, video and gametracker stats for Tuesday’s game vs. UNC Asheville will be available at Tommy Moody calls the action on the internet.