Freshman Jack Wynkoop and two relievers combined for a six-hit shutout as South Carolina defeated LSU 4-0 in the rubber game of the series at The Box on Sunday afternoon.
HOW THEY SCORED
South Carolina first inning - With one out, Chase Vergason tripled. After Joey Pankake grounded out to third baseman Christian Ibarra, LB Dantzler drove home Vergason with a double. Max Schrock singled home Dantzler. SOUTH CAROLINA 2, LSU 0
South Carolina second inning - Tanner English walked and went to third on a single by Graham Saiko, English scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Vergason. SOUTH CAROLINA 3, LSU 0
South Carolina ninth inning - Sean Sullivan walked. English reached safely when first baseman Mason Katz mishandled his bunt. Saiko sacrificed the runners over to second and third. Sullivan scored on Vergason's sacrifice fly to rightfield. SOUTH CAROLINA 4, LSU 0
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
Third inning - Sean McMullen doubled with two out. Jared Foster fouled out to first base to end the inning.
Seventh inning - Katz doubled. Raph Rhymes grounded out to shortstop. Ibarra flied out to leftfield. Ty Ross flied out to centerfield.
Eighth inning - With one out, Mark Laird singled. After McMullen flied out to centerfield, Foster walked. Alex Bregman flied out to centerfield.
LSU HITTING STAR
No Tigers player had more than one hit. Foster was the only LSU player to reach base twice. He singled with one out in the first and walked with two out in the eighth.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Kurt McCune was not effective in his first Southeastern Conference start. He gave up two runs and four hits in the first inning. Each of the three lefthanded hitters in the South Carolina lineup got a hit in the first inning. McCune yielded a second inning run on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly. McCune gave up a leadoff single in the third. He retired the next two batters before he was replaced.
Nate Fury did his job by getting Connor Bright to ground out with a runner on second and two out in the third. Brent Bonvillain relieved Fury to begin the fourth. Bonvillain was spectacular in his four-inning stint. Just two batters reached base against Bonvillain - Saiko on a walk in the fourth and Dantzler on a single in the fifth. Bonvillain retired the last nine batters he faced. Nick Rumbelow threw a scoreless eighth. A walk and an error by Katz resulted in an unearned run charged to Joey Bourgeois in the ninth. Chris Cotton entered the game with runners on second and third and one out in the ninth. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Vergason.
Laird, who doesn't have a multiple-hit game in more than a month, was replaced by Andrew Stevenson in centerfield. Laird had batted just .195 (16-for-82) since he had a three-hit game on March 24 against Auburn. Stevenson struck out in his first plate appearance. Chris Chinea batted for Stevenson in the fifth and flied out. Laird entered the game and singled in his lone at-bat. . .Foster, who started in rightfield for the third consecutive game, batted second in the lineup. He had five hits in the series. . .The Tigers only had three runners get past first base - McMullen in the third, Katz in the seventh and Laird in the eighth. No LSU runner reached third base. The Tigers were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. . .Wynkoop allowed five hits and struck out one in seven innings. He threw just 72 pitches. Adam Westmoreland yielded a hit and a walk in the eighth. Closer Tyler Webb came on for a four-out save - his 14th of the season. . .The last time LSU was shut out was April 6 last season at Florida. The last time the Tigers were shut out at home in a Southeastern Conference game was two seasons ago by the Gators. . .Both Dantzler and Schrock had two hits and a RBI for the Gamecocks. . .LSU has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. . .This was the first series loss of the year for LSU. . .The Tigers now trail Vanderbilt by three games in the overall SEC standings. The Commodores defeated Mississippi State 8-3 on Sunday. LSU leads Arkansas by 2½ games in the SEC West. The Razorbacks had their game at Georgia cancelled by rain Sunday. . .The actual crowd was 6,380. The total actual attendance for the series was 25,632. The total paid crowd for the series was 35,257 - the highest ever for a three-game series at LSU.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri:
"Pure and simple, South Carolina outplayed us this weekend. Nola pitched great and the bottom of our lineup came through Friday. Yesterday and today, they just outplayed us. On any given day, it's who makes the pitches, who makes the plays, who gets the key hits. We didn't lose to a lousy team. We lost to South Carolina. They are an excellent program with excellent players. There is a reason they have won two national championships and played for another (in last three years). They are not going to come in here and be intimidated.
"Today, we dug ourselves a hole. Their kid (Wynkoop) did a nice job. He kept us off balance. There were six balls I thought we hit over their heads. But, the ball hung up there. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but there's a long way to go to the end of the season. I don't know if it's what we did. It was more what they did. Sometimes, you have to tip your hat to the other team.
"It's impossible to play at a good level and where you get the breaks every day. Our record is still stellar. We are in good position with another good team coming in (Florida). We can't hang our heads. We've got to get Mason (Katz) hot again. We have to get Bregman hot again. We have got to get the middle of our lineup to be the leaders of the team. It's a long season and there are going to be lulls. You have to grin and bear it and get back on the horse."
(on Kurt McCune's start): "He didn't get his curve over and he didn't get the ball down in the zone. He left the ball up. In the first inning, he had some things that went against him. We didn't help him when Foster dove for the ball and it ends up a triple. Kurt doesn't have overpowering stuff to pitch out of that (runner on third and less than two out). That was a tough situation right way for him."
(on taking Laird out of the lineup): Mark has been pressing. He has not been doing the things for a month that he had done leading up to the season and early in the year. He is not going to the opposite field. He is elevating too many balls. He is rolling over and hitting ground balls."
"(Wynkoop) filled up the zone with strikes. He got changeups over. He got his curve ball over. He got his fast ball over. We didn't come with the same fire as usual. We didn't have the same level of intensity. That shouldn't happen in a SEC game. Why did it? That's a good question. We need to come with more cockiness."
LSU will play host to McNeese State at The Box on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The Cowboys (20-21) lost two of three games to Central Arkansas this weekend. Cody Glenn (5-1, 3.13 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.