BATON ROUGE, LA (WACH)- Joey Pankake hit a solo home run but it was not enough as Austin Nola pitched a six-hit complete game shut out to defeat the Gamecocks 5-2 on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium. The Gamecocks fall to 31-12 overall and 11-8 in the SEC.
Nola (8-0) kept the Gamecocks at bay for most of the night striking out eight. Nolan Belcher (6-4) pitched 5.2 in the losing effort.
The Tigers struck first in the second inning when leadoff man Sean McMullen hit a two-out, two RBI single to right to put the home team up 2-0. LSU pushed across another in the fourth before the Gamecocks got on the board in the fifth.
USC threatened to get back in it after Connor Bright singled with two outs. Tanner English followed with a deep shot to center and tried for an inside-the-park home run, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Joey Pankake added a solo home run in the ninth but that would be it.
Game two is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.