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|Dyson, homers carry USC past baseball Tigers, 7-3|
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Right-hander Sam Dyson limited LSU to one run on two hits Friday night, and South Carolina launched four home runs as the Gamecocks recorded a 7-3 win over the fifth-ranked Tigers at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina won its fourth straight game and improved to 14-4 overall, 2-2 in the SEC. LSU dropped to 15-5 and 2-2 as the Tigers' three-game win streak ended.
The teams meet in Game 2 of the series Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The contest can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
"Dyson is an excellent pitcher, and he did a good job of keeping us from generating much offense," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We just couldn't get the timely hit when we needed it. I was pleased that we continued to fight back and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. That may be something we can build on for the rest of the series."
Dyson (3-1) threw 120 pitches in seven innings, holding the Tigers to one run on two hits with six walks and five strikeouts.
South Carolina reliever Alex Farotto earned his fourth save of the season, as he worked the final two innings, surrendering two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo (2-1) took the loss, despite allowing just two runs on three hits in seven innings. Ranaudo walked two and recorded nine strikeouts.
LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when first baseman Sean Ochinko lifted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to score shortstop DJ LeMahieu.
South Carolina tied the game in the bottom of the third on rightfielder Jackie Bradley's solo homer, his third dinger of the season.
The Gamecocks took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when shortstop Bobby Haney launched a lead-off homer, his first of the season.
The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the eighth, when South Carolina erupted for five runs against LSU relievers Paul Bertuccini and Jordan Nicholson. Centerfielder Whit Merrifield's two-run homer against off of Bertuccini gave the Gamecocks and 4-1 lead.
South Carolina stretched the advantage to 7-1 later in the inning when third baseman Andrew Crisp unloaded a three-run blast.
LSU rallied for two runs in the ninth against Farotto on RBI singles by third baseman Tyler Hanover and shortstop DJ LeMahieu. The Tigers had the bases loaded with the tying run at the plate and two outs, but Farotto retired leftifielder Blake Dean on a fly ball to center to end the game.
South Carolina 7, LSU 3 (Mar 20, 2009 at Columbia, S.C.)
LSU...................... 001 000 002 - 3 4 0 (15-5, 2-2 SEC)
South Carolina...... 001 010 05X - 7 6 0 (14-4, 2-2 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Anthony Ranaudo; Paul Bertuccini(8); Jordan Nicholson(8).
South Carolina - Sam Dyson; Alex Farotto(8).
Win-Sam Dyson(3-1) Save-Alex Farotto(4) Loss-Anthony Ranaudo(2-1) T-3:10 A-7047
HR USC - Jackie Bradley, Jr. (3); Whit Merrifield (4); Andrew Crisp (4); Bobby Haney (1).
Bertuccini faced 2 batters in the 8th.
(Report courtesy of lsusports.net)