College World Series
Friday, January 30

OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- For the second straight year, South Carolina sent Louisiana State packing in the College World Series.

First baseman Will Harris committed a key two-run error in a six-run sixth inning as the Gamecocks banged out 19 hits and stayed alive with a 15-4 victory over the Tigers.

Louisiana State (47-18) has won the College World Series five times, but has dropped its first two games each of the last two seasons. The Gamecocks ousted the Tigers with an 11-10 win in 2003 and Monday's game was not even as close.

"It's a disappointment if you don't win it all," LSU coach Smoke Laval said. "Whether you're 0-2, or 4-2, there's always room for improvement."

Kevin Melillo and Steve Pearce each had four hits for the Gamecocks (51-16), who advance to play the loser of Monday night's game between Miami and Cal-State Fullerton on Tuesday.

LSU had 16 hits, but committed four errors and came unglued in the pivotal sixth inning that saw the umpires change a controversial call.

The Tigers had a 3-0 lead entering the inning before Nick Gardiner delivered a two-run single. Melillo scored on the play, but was originally called out for trying to dislodge the ball from catcher Liuzza, which is illegal in college baseball.

But the call was changed since Liuzza stepped into the baseline in pursuit of the ball when he was hit by Melillo.

After a delay, Harris fielded a ground ball and threw wildly to pitcher Lane Mestepey (2-1) covering at first, allowing two runs to score.

"That (controversy) had nothing to do with it," Laval said. "We didn't defend well and we didn't get the big hit when we needed it. (South Carolina) was opportunistic and that is the game of baseball."

Steve Tolleson added an RBI single and a throwing error by reliever Jordan Faircloth allowed another run to score, making it 6-3.

"It was great to hit the ball as well as we did as a team," Melillo said.

Aaron Rawl (2-0) earned the win, allowing three runs, scattering 11 hits and striking out five in 6 2/3 innings.

"I'm not a strikeout guy," Rawl said. "I need to make batters put the ball in play and let my defense make plays."

The Gamecocks broke open the game with six runs in the eighth and added two more in the ninth.


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