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South Carolina Holds Off Kentucky 6-5 To Advance To SECT Semifinals vs LSU

By Doug Kyle

South Carolina's Gamecocks have come to the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover, AL this week and even an 11-10 loss to streaking LSU on Thursday hasn't dampened the mood of the clearly-improved team that came in having lost six straight SEC games, but now has an opportunity to meet the Tigers again Saturday with a slot in the Sunday Championship Game (against Tennessee or Vanderbilt) on the line.

Cole Messina's four home runs and 14 RBI this week had teams choosing what they considered was a lower risk by walking him intentionally. Enter Ethan Petry, who had two hits that included a double, Will Tippett, who had one of the two Gamecock home runs, and Gavin Casas, who had the other. The news was mixed on Casas, however, as he was forced to leave the game later after being hit in the hand by a pitch.

In a game where the momentum and lead swung back and forth like a metronome, two pitchers helped steady the momentum on South Carolina's side, winning pitcher Parker Marlatt (3-0) and Mathew Becker, who earned his first save.

The Gamecocks and Tigers meet in Game 15 of the SECT, scheduled for 12 noon on Saturday. With the resumption of single elimination format, the winner of that game advances to the Championship Game, set for 2:00 pm, with that winner also getting the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament Field of 64.


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