HOOVER, ALA. — South Carolina knew entering this week it'd be a tall order to make a lot of noise in the SEC Tournament with a stretched thin pitching staff.
Tuesday night, they saw just how tall that order was in person.
South Carolina's bullpen squandered away an early lead in an 8-6 loss that ended the team's season.
South Carolina's season is officially over, with the Gamecocks finishing 28-28, the worst overall record since 1996.
On short rest and on a tight pitch count, Cam Tringali came in and gave the Gamecocks (28-28, 8-23 SEC) exactly what they needed, giving up just three runs on four hits through three innings, while giving his team a chance to win.
At 66 pitches through three, he didn't come back to start the fourth. That's when LSU mounted its comeback, scoring five unanswered runs — two in the fifth, before the go-ahead three-run fourth — capping it with a two-run sixth.
It was death by a thousand cuts, with the Gamecocks throwing three wild pitches, hitting a batter and walking a batter as well.
Then there were a few defensive miscues, including a run coming in to score on a misplayed ball in the infield, which was ultimately ruled a hit.
South Carolina's bullpen combined to give up five runs on five hits in the five innings after Tringali left.
Wes Sweatt pitched the best out of all the Gamecock bullpen arms, scattering two hits and striking out three in 3-and-a-third scoreless innings.
South Carolina jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead, taking advantage of pitches from Tiger starter Cole Henry and putting up a five-spot in the second inning. The Gamecocks chased Henry after juts 1-and-2-thirds innings.
It started with Chris Cullen roping a two-run double to left before RBI singles from Andrew Eyster and Luke Berryhill.
Carolina got another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from T.J. Hopkins. But the offensive theme of the night was more about missed opportunities.
South Carolina put runners on in 5 of the final 6 innings, including putting the leadoff batter on 3 different times.
The best chance to score again for the Gamecocks came in the eighth inning, as Andrew Eyster came up with two outs, representing the tying run, before he grounded out to third.
The Gamecocks stranded 9 batters.
Up next: South Carolina's season is officially over.