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March 20, 2009

Box Score

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina homered four times and behind seven innings of two-hit ball from sophomore right-hander Sam Dyson defeated fifth ranked LSU 7-3 on Friday evening in game one of a three-game SEC baseball series at Carolina Stadium. The win improves Carolina to 14-4 and 2-2 in the SEC while the loss drops LSU to 15-5 and 2-2 in conference play. Both teams meet in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon with first pitch at 4 p.m. Live audio broadcast is available at with the game also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.

Dyson and LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo were both effective on the mound for their respective clubs. Dyson allowed just one run on two hits while striking out five batters and walking six. Ranaudo matched him with seven innings of work allowing two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. With the win, Dyson improved to 3-1 on the year while the loss dropped Ranaudo to 2-1 for the season.

With a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the eighth, the Gamecocks were able to put some insurance runs on the board with a five-run inning against the LSU bullpen. After Paul Bertuccini walked Jackie Bradley, Jr. to lead off the inning, Whit Merrifield drove a home run to left field to put Carolina on top 4-1. Into the game for LSU came reliever Jordan Nicholson. With two outs and runners on second and third base, the Gamecocks got another spark from Andrew Crisp, who launched a three-run homer to left center to give Carolina a six-run edge.

The runs would come back to help Carolina as LSU fought back in the ninth inning to score a pair of runs. DJ LeMahieu and Sean Ochinko each tallied two-out RBI hits as the Tigers eventually loaded the bases and brought the potential tying run to the plate in Blake Dean. Gamecock reliever Alex Farotto was able to get out of the jam though as Dean flied out to center field to preserve Carolina’s 7-3 victory. Farotto, who entered in the eighth inning, earned his fourth save of the season.

South Carolina out-hit LSU 6-4. Bobby Haney’s 2-for-4 day at the plate led the way. Jackie Bradley, Jr. reached base three times as he homered and walked twice. He also had a sacrifice bunt. LeMahieu went 2-for-5 to lead the Tigers.

LSU went ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning. After a one-out single by DJ LeMahieu, the Tigers were the beneficiary of a couple of walks to Jared Mitchell and Blake Dean that loaded the bases. LeMahieu would then score the Tigers first run on Sean Ochinko’s RBI sacrifice fly to center field.

That lead would be short-lived though as the Gamecocks tied it in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run by Jackie Bradley, Jr. The freshman outfielder stroked a 2-2 pitch from Ranaudo over the right field wall tying the game at one apiece.

It would remain that way until the bottom of the fifth inning when Haney put the Gamecocks ahead 2-1 with a solo home run, his first of the year. Haney launched the first pitch he saw from Ranaudo with a round tripper that just cleared the wall in right field.