Another quiet night at the plate away from home produced a lopsided loss for LSU in its series opener at South Carolina.
The Tigers managed just two hits on the night in support of Zack Hess. South Carolina right-hander fired 6.2 dominant innings with six strikeouts as the Gamecocks prevailed 11-0 at Founders Park on Friday night.
Hess, who had won his previous three starts, gutted his way through six innings of three-run ball before leaving the game with an elevated pitch count. He scattered eight hits and struck out five.
A second constitutive road loss drops LSU ( 24-25, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) to 2-9 away from Alex Box Stadium this season while South Carolina 21-17, 7-9 SEC) moves the Gamecocks closer to .500 in league play.
South Carolina jumped ahead early on a solo home run to right from slugger Carlos Cortes. The Gamecocks scored twice against Hess in the fourth inning with the big blow coming in the form of a TJ Hopkins RBI double.
Hess showed some serious grit to get through six innings on a night he didn’t have his best stuff. Cam Sanders took over in the seventh inning and yielded two runs. Infielder Jonah Bride contributed an RBI single and Justin Row laid down a squeeze bunt.
South Carolina blew the game open in the eighth against Sanders, Clay Moffitt and Trent Vietmeier. Hopkins highlighted the outburst with a bases-clearing triple to cap a monster night.
LSU will look to even the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. Ma’Khail Hilliard (7-2, 1.75 ERA) is set to take the ball for LSU against Adam Hill (3-4, 4.65 ERA).